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Cambodia, Sri Lanka relations strengthened with Sirisena visit

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Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena (left) meets Prime Minister Hun Sen at the Peace Palace. hun sen facebook page

Cambodia, Sri Lanka relations strengthened with Sirisena visit

At a bilateral meeting in Phnom Penh last week, Cambodia and Sri Lanka reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen bilateral relations and regional partnerships aimed at bringing peace and stability to the two nations and the world.

“The Sri Lankan president’s three-day state visit to Cambodia has strengthened friendship ties and cooperation on improving economic, trade, tourism and cultural relations between the two countries,” Prime Minister Hun Sen wrote in a Facebook post on Friday.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s four-day visit to Cambodia between Wednesday and Saturday was made at the invitation of King Norodom Sihamoni.

A joint statement issued by the two governments said: “Samdech Techo Prime Minister [Hun Sen] and the president of Sri Lanka exchanged comprehensive views on the regional and international issues in which the two nations shared a common interest and concern.”

The statement said the two leaders signed two memorandum of understanding (MoU) on bilateral consultation.

One MoU was signed between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of both countries and the other between the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce and Sri Lanka’s Colombo Chamber of Commerce.

The two leaders also agreed to accelerate the signing of three more documents – the Agreement on Visa Exemptions for Diplomatic and Official Passport Holders, the Agreement on Bilateral Air Services and the MoU on Cooperation in the Field of Tourism.

Sirisena requested King Norodom Sihamoni and Hun Sen to visit Sri Lanka at a suitable time in the future, said the statement.

Political analyst Kin Phea, who is also the director of the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute, told The Post on Sunday that the visit had improved relations between the two countries and that the Kingdom had expanded its diplomatic relations internationally.

“Foreign leaders regularly visit Cambodia, and top Cambodian officials and diplomats pay frequent visits to other countries as well.

“Additionally, there is a diversity of Cambodian ministers paying such visits. This is a positive step in Cambodia’s foreign policy, in which it is slapping down accusations of over-reliance on any one country.

“Such accusations are wrong and do not fit the context of Cambodia’s foreign policy,” said Phea.

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