Cambodia and Malaysia’s armies are keen to strengthen bilateral cooperation to support peacekeeping efforts and protect security in the region, the Royal Cambodian Armed Force (RCAF) said in a statement.

The commitment was made at a meeting on March 3 between RCAF deputy commander-in-chief and Royal Cambodian Army commander Lieutenant General Hun Manet and Malaysian Army chief General Zamrose Mohd Zain, during the second of the latter’s two-day visit to Cambodia.

According to the RCAF, both sides commented on how the “friendship and cooperation” between the two countries in the defence sector had improved.

“Both sides expressed the importance of maintaining and expanding bilateral cooperation between the army of Cambodia and that of Malaysia, which is key for contribution to existing regional multilateral mechanisms to build trust and mutual understanding in addressing security challenges, and to support actions which lead to peace and security in the region,” the RCAF said.

It said that through cooperation between the two armies, Cambodian soldiers have received training through the Malaysian Defence Cooperation Programme since 2002, official visits have been made, and many senior Cambodian military officials have attended the Defence Service Asia Exhibition and Conference (DSA) and Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA).

Lieutenant General Manet and General Zamrose highlighted that the visit had “opened another page of history” in the cooperation between the two armies, which they said would only become more active, comprehensive and stronger.

They also discussed future areas of cooperation, especially human resource development and cybersecurity. Both army chiefs also considered the possibility of hosting their first Army to Army Staff Talks (AAST) down the road.