The Kingdom of Cambodia and the United States of America have expressed a shared resolve to work closely together to further promote the relations of friendship and fruitful cooperation between Cambodia and the United States in all areas.
The commitment was made by Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Prak Sokhonn, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, during their bilateral meeting on May 13, on the sidelines of the ASEAN-U.S. Special Summit Washington D.C., according to a press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation released this morning.
The meeting aimed to promote Cambodia-U.S. relations, as well as cooperation on regional and international issues of common interest.
On bilateral relations, DPM Sokhonn and Secretary of State Blinken noted with satisfaction the good cooperation between Cambodia and the U.S. in many areas, such as increasing economic exchange, health, education, mine clearance, counter-terrorism, peacekeeping, cultural heritage protection, MIA/POW, repatriation program and people-to-people exchange.
The Deputy Prime Minister underlined that trade is the best example of the positive cooperation between the two countries and expressed hope that the GSP scheme will be soon renewed to further support the economic development and Cambodian workers in the GFT sectors, majority of which are women.
He also reiterated Cambodia’s gratitude to the U.S. for its continued support of Cambodia’s development in many sectors and most recently in the fight against Covid-19. Blinken expressed the U.S. readiness to further support Cambodia’s development and to actively work with Cambodia to enhance political-security, economic and socio-cultural cooperation.
On the issues of human rights and democracy, responding to the U.S. concern, DPM Sokhonn reaffirmed the full commitment of the Cambodian Government to an inclusive political process and freedom of expression.
He highlighted the multi-party elections held regularly since the early 1990s which have been assessed as free and fair by tens of thousands of local and international observers, the existence of hundreds of media establishments and wide social media penetration in Cambodia, the operation of trade unions for workers’ rights protection and thousands of NGOs and civil societies to promote people’s rights and welfare.
The Deputy Prime Minister sought the U.S. reconsideration on unjustly imposed visa restrictions related to the repatriation issue while reassuring his American counterpart of Cambodia’s full cooperation in the process.
On international cooperation and regional and international issues, Secretary of State Blinken thanked Cambodia for contributing to the successful convening of the ASEAN-U.S. Special Summit and for supporting the elevation of ASEAN-U.S. relations to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
The two ministers exchanged views on the crisis in Myanmar, and expressed appreciation for Cambodia’s efforts, as the ASEAN Chair, and Special Envoy to expedite the progress on the implementation of the Five-point Consensus, in particular on three urgent priorities, namely ending violence, ensuring delivery of humanitarian assistance to all the people in most need and engendering an inclusive pollical dialogue among all parties concerned.
The two ministers also touched on the Ukraine-Russia conflict, its security and economic implications and efforts to resolve the crisis. On the issue of the Ream naval base, DPM Sokhonn reiterated Cambodia’s firm adherence to the Constitution of Cambodia which does not permit foreign military base or presence on Cambodian soil, and underlined that the renovation of the base serves solely to strengthen the Cambodian naval capacities to protect its maritime integrity and combat crimes.
SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES