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Hun Sen meets with Sri Lankan president

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Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena (left) on Thursday shakes hands with Prime Minister Hun Sen at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh. Two deals were inked during the meeting. KHEM SOVANNARA/AFP

Hun Sen meets with Sri Lankan president

Prime Minister Hun Sen and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena met at the Peace Palace on Thursday to discuss bilateral relations between the two countries and witness the signing of two agreements.

Sirisena began his four-day visit to Cambodia yesterday at the invitation of King Norodom Sihamoni. This is his first visit to the Kingdom as the president of Sri Lanka.

During the meeting, Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) on consultative meetings and trade were signed. The two leaders also exchanged views on regional and international issues of common concern and interest.

Eang Sophallet, Hun Sen’s personal assistant, said the meeting highlighted Cambodian-Sri Lankan ties which span “for more than 1,000 years”.

He said Sirisena called for further strengthening of cooperation in economic, trade, tourism and cultural fields, and urged direct flights between the two countries.

Meanwhile, Hun Sen called for discussions on agreements regarding investor protection, taxation and tourism, Sophallet said.

“Concerning the education sector, Samdech Techo [Hun Sen] thanked the Sri Lankan President for providing training for Cambodian officials and monks.

“Samdech also gave high appreciation to Sri Lanka’s active contribution to maintaining peace and stability in the Asian-Pacific region,” he said.

Kin Phea, the general director of the International Relations Institute of Cambodia stressed that the relations between Cambodia and Sri Lanka were yet to be comprehensive.

“In the political framework, our relations are not yet significant,” Phea elaborated.

On the sidelines of his visit, Sirisena and his wife – Jayanthi Pushpa Kumari – laid wreaths at the Independence Monument to honour the fallen Cambodian heroes and at the shrine of King Norodom Sihanouk to pay respect to the King Father.

In the evening, Sirisena was invited to a state banquet with King Sihamoni, Hun Sen and first lady Bun Rany.

Sirisena’s official visit to Cambodia is scheduled to conclude on Thursday.

In a press release, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said the Sri Lankan delegation will also visit the temples in the Angkor Archeological Park, Siem Reap province.”

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