Prime Minister Hun Sen will pay an official visit to the central European nation of Slovenia early next year following talks with his counterpart Janez Jansa during which the two leaders pledged to forge stronger ties in various sectors.
Hun Sen and Jansa held a virtual meeting on November 9 to promote bilateral relations ahead of Cambodia hosting the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM13) on November 25-26, according to the prime minister’s Facebook post on November 9.
“Working in a bilateral framework, [Hun Sen] and [Jansa] agreed to strengthen and expand potential cooperation in many areas, including the economy, trade, tourism, health and other sectors, as well as the exchange of visits to help these cooperative efforts succeed,” said the post.
The two sides agreed that the foreign ministries of both countries would meet and review all of the means available for international cooperation – starting with the waiving of all visa requirements for diplomats and officials when visiting each other’s countries.
Hun Sen and Jansa also agreed to strengthen their cooperation in the fight against Covid-19 and push for a free trade agreement between ASEAN and Europe, as well as other potential assistance that will enable a smooth ASEAN summit chaired by Cambodia in 2022.
“During the meeting, [Jansa] also invited [Hun Sen] to visit Slovenia. He accepted the invitation and said he would visit Slovenia early next year,” said the post.
Kin Phea, director of the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute, said that although the two countries are situated on different continents far away from each other, they can still provide support to each other politically and diplomatically – as well as economically – if the trade agreement gets hammered out.
For example, he said, the participation of Slovenia in the ASEM13 this year will help the meeting to be a successful one for Cambodia in light of this new spirit of positivity and friendship between the two nations through their leaders.
“We can see that the Cambodian government has made serious diplomatic efforts to win over all of the countries in Europe in order to make the coming summit a success. We certainly don’t want to see any participant country for the ASEM13 absent from the meeting and especially not our friend Slovenia,” Phea said.