Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kingdom, Australia reaffirm ties

Kingdom, Australia reaffirm ties

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Australian and Cambodian representatives met via video conference on Thursday. Foreign Ministry

Kingdom, Australia reaffirm ties

Cambodian and Australian representatives reaffirmed their mutual support for forging ahead with development plans in public statements issued following a new round of talks between senior officials held via video conference on January 28.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation secretary of state Soeung Rathchavy co-chaired the meeting with Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Deputy Secretary Justin Hayhurst.

“Both sides expressed a common desire to strengthen cooperation and render mutual support in regional and international frameworks, including ASEAN, the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), the UN and Mekong sub-regional cooperation, in order to contribute to the maintenance of peace, security and sustainable development,” the press statement said.

The two sides expressed mutual appreciation for each other’s leadership in controlling and preventing further spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Australian government specifically appreciated consular assistance and support for Australian citizens stranded in the Kingdom.

Cambodia thanked Australia for its generous grant of $28 million to support the purchase and rollout of WHO-approved vaccines.

“On security and defence, both sides agreed to enhance cooperation in border management, the fight against transnational crimes including human and drug trafficking, money laundering and terrorism, and maritime security through training programmes for military and law enforcement officials,” the statement said.

It continued: “The Australian side welcomed remarks by the prime minister that Cambodia adheres to a policy of permanent neutrality and non-alignment and will not allow foreign military bases” in the nation.

Australia reaffirmed its commitment to assisting Cambodia in priority areas of education, infrastructure, trade, agriculture, health care and demining. The Kingdom thanked Australia for its continued assistance as well as a pledge to increase scholarships awarded to Cambodians next year.

“Participants exchanged views on human rights cooperation and democracy in Cambodia and agreed to work closely together in a constructive manner,” it said.

Australia expressed support for Cambodia’s hosting of the 13th ASEM Summit this year and its chairmanship of ASEAN next year. Cambodia welcomed the Australian government’s initiative to implement the Mekong-Australia Programme to promote sustainable development in the Mekong basin region.

Kin Phea, director of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said the bilateral relationship of the two countries has notably improved. Australia has been careful about releasing any position statements regarding Cambodia, and interactions had been polite and constructive.

According to his observations, the Australian government expresses their concerns in a way which should not be seen as demanding or attempting to violate Cambodia’s sovereignty – and which has facilitated acceptance by the Cambodian government.

“Generally, Australia’s concerns about the development of democracy and human rights in Cambodia have been expressed cautiously, respectfully and diplomatically. Their concerns have not been presented in ways that can be interpreted as interference into another state’s internal affairs,” Phea said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the