Cambodian Foreign Minister Receives His Australian counterpart

Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation H.E. Hor Namhong received here yesterday visiting Senator the Honorable Bob Carr, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia.

The talks focused on bilateral cooperation, diplomatic relations, politics, economy, trade, disasters and the South China Sea issue, H.E. Hor Namhong said at a joint press conference upon the bilateral meeting.

Regarding the bilateral cooperation, H.E. Hor Namhong expressed profound thanks to Australia for its assistance to Cambodia, especially on human resource development (so far, over 400 Cambodian students and civil servants have studied in Australia), and other sectors including the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

The Cambodian foreign minister further lauded the good diplomatic and political relations and the bilateral cooperation between the two countries, but he requested to boost more cooperation in trade and investment.

Both sides also congratulated the democratization process in Myanmar, and Australia agreed to lift economic sanctions against that country, said H.E. Hor Namhong.

Concerning the disaster management, H.E. Hor Namhong requested Australia to help the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre) established in 2011 to deal with disasters due to climate change in the Southeast Asian region.

On the South China Sea issue, H.E. Hor Namhong said we should not internationalize this issue as it will make the issue more complicated and it will not respond to the interests of any country. “We should encourage China and ASEAN to start discussing about the key points of the draft regional Code of Conduct in the South China Sea ( CoC),” he said.

For his part, H.E. Minister for Foreign Affair of Australia said he will encourage the Australian investors to invest in Cambodia in order to promote the economic and trade relations with the Kingdom.

For 2011-2012, Australia donated some US$77 million for the development of the fields of agriculture, health, infrastructure, and justice in Cambodia, he said.

He further shared the same idea with his Cambodian counterpart on the climate change issue. Australia is ready to cooperate with Cambodia in preparing a good plan to prevent disasters due to climate change.

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