Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Deputy PM Prak Sokhonn holds Australia bilateral cooperation talks

Deputy PM Prak Sokhonn holds Australia bilateral cooperation talks

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn meets with Australian Senate president Scott Ryan on Saturday. Photo supplied

Deputy PM Prak Sokhonn holds Australia bilateral cooperation talks

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn met with Australian Senate president Scott Ryan on Saturday to discuss bilateral cooperation between the two nations.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ket Sophann could not be reached for comment on Sunday, but he told Fresh News on Saturday that Ryan had promised to “deeply” strengthen cooperation with Cambodia.

“Scott Ryan confirmed that the Australian government would firmly and deeply cooperate with Cambodia as well as the Cambodian parliament, especially on education and tourism,” Sophann said as quoted by Fresh News.

He said Ryan had praised Cambodia’s organisation of the Annual Meeting of Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum [APPF] in Siem Reap.

Sophann said Sokhonn had explained that 20 political parties had taken part in last year’s national elections, with the incumbent Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) winning a landslide victory.

Sophann said Sokhonn vowed that constituents would be properly served even though there was only the CPP present in the National Assembly, with the Foreign Affairs Minister explaining to Ryan that the other political parties that had participated had formed a “consultation group” to be given the opportunity to help serve the people.

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said Ryan’s commitment to cooperation with Cambodia gave “justice” to Cambodia and would make the Kingdom and Australia friends that could be mutually trusted.

“This is the pride of the Cambodian people who receive justice from the president of the Australian Senate, who has in the past contributed to Cambodia finding peace. It’s not like the slandering of the ignorant group of people,” Eysan said.

The Saturday meeting also touched on the reports of an alleged Chinese naval base in Koh Kong province. Sokhonn, according to Fresh News, reiterated the government’s stance that foreign troops are not allowed a presence on Cambodian territory.

“Concerning the reports of a military base in Cambodia, [Sokhonn] confirmed that Prime Minister [Hun Sen] had written a letter to US Vice President Mike Pence stressing that Cambodia respects its Constitution."

“[The Constitution] does not allow foreign militaries present on Cambodian territory, and [Cambodia] does not need the presence of [a foreign military] or of foreign troops to fight against anyone,” Sophan said, as quoted by Fresh News.

A spokesperson for the Australian embassy told The Post on Sunday that Ryan led the Australian delegation that participated in the 27th APPF in Siem Reap and, as part of the visit, he met with the Cambodian government to reaffirm Australia’s commitment to making the Indo-Pacific region stronger, more secure and prosperous.

“The Senate President discussed Australia’s development assistance programme in Cambodia, which is improving the governance and resilience of Cambodian institutions, and the livelihoods of Cambodia’s poorest communities."

“Senator Ryan also reiterated Australia’s serious concerns with the 2018 Cambodian national election process, and pressed the Cambodian government to take more steps to allow free and open political debate,” she said.

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Kampot tourism quay ‘90% done’

    Construction on Kampot International Tourism Port – a 4ha quay in Teuk Chhou district about 6km west of Kampot town – has fallen off track, reaching 90 per cent completion, according to a senior Ministry of Tourism official last week. The project is now planned to be finished

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42