Agreements expected with Cambodia

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Sri Lanka and Cambodia are expected to sign two agreements today at the Peace Palace in order to strengthen diplomatic and economic cooperation.

President Maithripala Sirisena and his delegation yesterday arrived at Phnom Penh International Airport in Cambodia at about 10 am for an official state visit. They were greeted by Royal Palace Minister Kong Sam Ol and Information Minister Khieu Kanharith of Cambodia.

Cambodian Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Ket Sophann yesterday said President Sirisena and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen are expected to witness the signing of Memoranda of Understanding on political consultation and cooperation.

“At the end of a bilateral meeting between the President [Maithripala Sirisena] and Prime Minister Hun Sen, two MoUs are expected to be signed,” Sophann said. “First, an MoU on Political Consultation between the two Foreign Ministries, and second, an MoU on Cooperation between Chambers of Commerce of both countries.”

According to President Sirisena’s schedule, he and his wife, first lady Jayanthi Pushpa Kumari Sirisena, will today meet with the Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni at the Royal Palace.

According to the Commerce Ministry, trade between Sri Lanka and Cambodia reached nearly $4 million last year. It noted that Sri Lankan imports in Cambodia reached about $3 million.

Kin Phea, director-general of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, yesterday said the MoUs were a positive sign for both nations.

“I think these Memoranda of Understanding will push diplomatic ties because both countries have always supported each other at the United Nations,” Phea said. “I hope both countries will continue to expand cooperation in other sectors and frameworks.”

According to the National Police, deputy chief General Touch Naroth instructed forces to maintain security and public order during President Sirisena’s visit.

It said that Gen Naroth instructed all traffic police officers to facilitate traffic for the Sri Lankan delegation.

As the Sri Lankan delegation made their way into the Kingdom yesterday morning, Cambodian Premier Hun Sen wrote a post on Facebook to welcome President Sirisena.

“Cambodia wishes to welcome Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and the first lady who come to the Kingdom of Cambodia for an official visit today,” he said. “This visit will help to strengthen friendship ties and cooperation between both countries.”