Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Asean gives Cambodia thumbs up



Asean gives Cambodia thumbs up

Asean gives Cambodia thumbs up

A SEAN'S member countries support Cambodia's bid for membership at least as strongly as Vietnam's, according to Foreign Affairs and Information Committee chairman Om Rasady.

There was no sign of opposition to Cambodia's participation in Asean, said Rasady, who is also a director of the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace.

Documents were now in the process of being prepared to present to Asean, the first step in satisfying the procedures to full membership, he said.

For the first time, Cambodia will have official observer status at the Asean conference in Bandung, Indonesia in the next few days.

There were "technical matters" to put in place and then an agreement signed in the Asean management office for Cambodia to have observer status confirmed for the Bandung meeting, he said.

It would then be up to Asean members to grant Cambodia full membership "in a matter of weeks or months," he said.

It was the role of newly-appointed Foreign Minister Ung Huot to request Cambodia's participation in the group, he said.

The Secretary-General of Asean Ajit Singh is arriving in Phnom Penh on Dec 7 and is expected to discuss the timetable of Cambodia's participation in Asean with Huot .

Asean had made it clear that it was not only in Cambodia's interests to join the group but it was in the interests of the whole region, Radsady said.

Huot said that Cambodia wanted to join Asean "as soon as possible."

Asean membership, said Ung Huot, would mean "cooperation, economic advantages and friendship and the ability to find peace in Cambodia."

When asked whether Asean membership might open Cambodia for more military aid, Huot said he had no real comment.

But he added: "Maybe not, because Asean is an economic forum."

He said membership would guarantee Cambodia more trade opportunities and more economic aid.

After the granting of observer status, Rasady said Asean's policy to support Cambodia's entry was not only the interest of Cambodia, but also the main interest of Asean itself.

Rasady said Asean not only supports but is also pushing Cambodia to join Asean.

Cambodia had a free democracy, and was developing and improving security in accordance with Asean policy, he said.

"The main purpose of Cambodia joining Asean was to strengthen the economy and promote the economic programs, he said. "As Vietnam and Laos join Asean, so then we cannot isolate."

Rasady described the purpose of Cambodia to join Asean.

He said as Cambodia was under rehabilitation it needed to strengthen and expand its economy through investment - but that first meant developing its infrastructure.

"Roads, electricity, water systems, railways, ports... all these need to be repaired or rebuilt, that is why we have to cooperate with Asean," Rasady said.

Rasady said: "Asean has a big principle structure, of politics, social and economic programs. We lose nothing but take in their experience, research and practice."

Joining Asean would bring Cambodia full circle - during the 80s the grouping supported the Resistance factions in their fight with the SOC regime in Phnom Penh.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and