Cambodia will further expand bilateral ties with Kazakhstan for the mutual benefit of the two countries as well as cooperation with the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building in Asia (CICA).

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn made the pledge while attending the 6th CICA Ministerial Meeting via video conference on October 12.

Sokhonn participated in the conference – an intergovernmental forum aimed at strengthening regional cooperation and ensuring peace, security and stability in Asia – at the invitation of his Kazakh counterpart Mukhtar Tileuberdi.

The meeting – held under the theme “Security and sustainable development in Asia in new realities of the post-pandemic world” – provided an opportunity for participants to exchange views on how to further strengthen CICA cooperation, build back better post-pandemic, and enhance peace, stability and prosperity across the region.

“Deputy Prime Minister Prak Sokhonn expressed Cambodia’s commitment to CICA cooperation and would also further strengthen and expand bilateral relations between Cambodia and Kazakhstan for the mutual benefit of both countries,” the foreign ministry said in a press release on October 11.

Sokhonn commended the CICA for contributing to regional peace, security, stability and prosperity. He also touched on Covid-19 and its impact on global peace and prosperity and the international order.

“[Sokhonn] was also expected to share his insightful and practical recommendations in the meeting for resilient and sustainable development for the post-Covid-19 crisis,” it said.

Kin Phea, director of the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute, told The Post on October 12 that the conference was an international mechanism for drawing the international community’s attention to issues such as the Covid-19 pandemic, restoration and reconstruction of the country as well as peace and stability in the region.

He added that confidence building measures were crucial for regional stability and peace.

“CICA has made a significant contribution and it is in line with Cambodia’s foreign policy. We wish to see a region of peace, stability and prosperity,” he said.

In 2019, Prime Minister Hun Sen attended the 5th CICA summit, which was attended by leaders of the 27 member states including China, India, Russia, Japan and Vietnam.

He said Cambodia was looking for more trade and investment opportunities with CICA member countries, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Hun Sen requested CICA member countries to work more closely with China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which he said provides a good opportunity for member states to accelerate regional connectivity and strengthen logistics.