Prime Minister Hun Manet described a meeting with members of the Cambodian diaspora from Australia and New Zealand as showing the solidarity between Khmers across the border, noting that this is an important element in building the nation.

He thanked the more than 1,000 Cambodian students and expatriates who welcomed him and his wife Pich Chanmony to Melbourne, Australia, on March 3.

“I thank you all for your thunderous support for the government. It is important to remember that this support also sends an important message to the Australian public about Cambodian-Australian friendship. The Kingdom’s government has sought to build and maintain positive policies until the present day,” said Manet.

He added that Cambodia’s hard-earned peace has brought about rapid growth and development, allowing the Kingdom’s residents to reconnect with their compatriots living abroad.

“The issuance of your supportive messages was very importance, as they let the world know that no matter where Khmer people reside, they comprehend the value of the peace enjoyed in their motherland. The spirit of this solidarity is precious, both for peace and for our nation,” he said.

The premier has arrived in Melbourne to attend the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, scheduled for March 4-6.

During the summit, ASEAN and Australian leaders will chart future directions and deepen their relations through the full and effective implementation of key priorities under the ASEAN-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

The Melbourne Declaration and the ASEAN-Australia Leaders’ Vision Statement are expected to be adopted.

Manet will also hold bilateral talks with his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese and several ASEAN leaders, in order to further strengthen bilateral relations.

He is also scheduled to attend a total of five bilateral meeting with ASEAN member states and 11 groups from private sector companies, on the sidelines of the summit.