The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said on Thursday that Cambodia will host the 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (Asem) next year in Phnom Penh.
The announcement was made in a press release outlining the results of Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn’s trip to attend 14th Asem Foreign Ministers Meeting in the Spanish capital of Madrid this week.
“At the closing sessions, Deputy Prime Minister Prak Sokhonn officially announced that the Asem 13 summit will be held on November 16-17 next year in Phnom Penh under the theme Strengthening Multilateralism for Shared Growth,” the release said.
Sokhonn also presented a three-minute video on Cambodia’s commitment and readiness to host the summit.
He said Cambodia would organise seven events on the sidelines – the Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting, the Asia-Europe Economic and Business Forum, the Asef Young Leaders Summit and the Asef Editors Roundtable.
It would also hold the Asia-Europe Labour Forum, the Asia-Europe People’s Forum and the Asem Cultural Festival.
Sok Touch, the president of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said hosting such a huge summit would require massive efforts for preparation.
But he said the summit would benefit the Kingdom as it would show the reality of Cambodia to European leaders rather than what had been reported unilaterally.
It would also demonstrate how important Asean was to Europe in exchanging ideas for the prosperity of both, he added.
“The coming Asem summit reflects that Cambodia is mature enough to host meetings attended by leaders from Europe and Asia. This is a good thing for us and we will gain good ideas from the leaders who attend Asem,” Touch said.
Political analyst Lao Mong Hay said: “Such a summit will bring honour and prestige to our government and country if all European partners participate in it.”
Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong could not be reached for additional comment on Thursday.