Two streets in Phnom Penh are to named after former Indonesian president Sukarno and foreign minister Ali Alatas to commemorate their contributions to modern Cambodia.

Sukarno visited Cambodia in the 1950s and 60s, not long after the Kingdom gained independence from France, while Alatas co-chaired a conference on Cambodia in the French capital prior to the 1991 Paris Peace Agreements.

Outgoing Indonesian ambassador Sudirman Haseng paid Phnom Penh governor Khuong Sreng a courtesy visit on January 17, before inspecting the locations of the two roads set to be named Jalan Soekarno and Jalan Ali Alatas.

Sreng told the delegation that the Kingdom’s friendship with Indonesia has contributed to the development of modern Cambodia, with Prime Minister Hun Sen deciding to name the streets after the two leaders as an expression of gratitude.

“The two streets will be named Jalan Soekarno and Jalan Ali Alatas to express gratitude to the leadership of the Republic of Indonesia, which has contributed greatly to Cambodia’s development,” he said.

Sudirman expressed gratitude at the streets being named after the former Indonesian statesmen and praised the rapid development of Phnom Penh.

The two roads will connect National Road 6 to Win-Win Boulevard in Chroy Changvar district and are expected to improve traffic conditions in the capital, especially when Cambodia hosts the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games and the 12th Para Games in May this year.

Kin Phea, director of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said the two countries’ relationship had deepened since diplomatic ties were first established in 1957, when Cambodia was led by the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and Indonesia by Sukarno.

Cambodia and Indonesia had enjoyed good relations until 1975, when diplomatic ties were severed by the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime, and it was not until 1992, after the Paris Peace Accords, that the two countries re-established official relations.

“Since 1992, after the re-establishment of diplomatic ties, Cambodia and Indonesia have enjoyed a good relationship, which we can see from the mutual interests in economics, politics, tourism and education.

“Within the framework of bilateral relations, the two countries have set up mechanisms to show goodwill and commitment to strengthen mutual ties in the areas of politics, economics and trade, though at present bilateral trade volume remains limited,” Phea said.

In the multilateral framework, both nations, as ASEAN and UN member states, have shown mutual support in regional and global forums.

Indonesia is the largest country in ASEAN and a member of the Group of 20 (G20).