The Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) will send demining experts and dogs to Israel today, as part of an apparent bid to improve relations between the two countries.
Director-general of CMAC Heng Ratana announced the news on Facebook yesterday, writing that 23 officials and 12 dogs will leave for Israel over the course of six days.
Ratana said yesterday that the officials and canines were evaluated and approved of by Israel’s Ministry of National Defense.
“Before selecting us, Israel has evaluated if we are matched to their standards or not. After testing, they see we have the capacity to work with them . . . Our officials were selected under strict standards, showing a good reputation for our country,” Ratana said.
Ratana wrote that it would be a valuable experience for the officers to work in different conditions, and added yesterday that he hoped the mission would strengthen cooperation between the two countries.
Diplomatic ties weren’t restored between the two countries until 1993, and the nations currently do not have embassies in each other’s capitals.
“We have worked with them once already with two dogs and three officials . . . If we work successfully in this coordination phase we may reach another level of cooperation between countries,” Ratana said.
Officials at the Israeli Embassy in Bangkok, which also represents Cambodia, could not be reached for comment.