Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday left Cambodia for a four-day official visit to Nepal to attend the Asia-Pacific Summit 2018 in Kathmandu, which began the same day. He will also hold “bilateral talks” with Nepalese leaders.
The summit will primarily focus on the “peace process”, conflict, climate change and strengthening marriage and the family system, according to a Nepalese media report.
He will also witness the inking of three agreements on bilateral cooperation involving air transport, visa exemptions for diplomats and a memorandum of understanding on “political consultations”. The visit will end on Sunday.
The prime minister, who left the Phnom Penh International Airport on Thursday morning, led a high-level delegation on the official visit, which came at the invitation of Nepalese Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli, better known as KP Sharma Oli.
Before leaving the airport, Hun Sen posted a photo of himself, accompanied by a message saying that besides meeting with Nepalese president Bidhya Devi Bhandari and Oli, he will also attend the Asia-Pacific Summit where he will make a keynote address on the theme Addressing the Critical Challenges of Our Time: Independence, Mutual Prosperity and Universal Values, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday and Sunday.
The summit also aims to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which urgently call for action by all UN countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership.
The SDGs recognise that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.
A statement from the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued on Monday said those accompanying Hun Sen include Deputy Prime Minister Prak Sokhonn, who is also minister of Foreign Affairs, other senior government officials and a delegation from the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce.
Sry Thamarong, a minister attached to the prime minister, told reporters at the airport that on Thursday afternoon Hun Sen and Oli would hold a bilateral meeting before the two leaders witnessed the signing ceremony of the three documents, the Xinhua news agency reported.
“This is the first ever official visit by the prime minister to Nepal,” he said.
“Through this visit, I believe the relationship between our two countries will be enhanced, especially in trade and tourism,” he said.
According to a statement from Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday, during the “Official Goodwill Visit” Hun Sen will pay a courtesy call on the Nepalese president.
He will then hold official talks with Oli and “exchange views on matters of mutual interest”. Nepal’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali will also call on him.
Hun Sen will also visit the Patan Durbar Square, a Unesco World Heritage Site in the city of Lalitpur, which was heavily damaged by an earthquake in April 2015, the Cambodia Foreign Affairs Ministry said.