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Cambodia, France to Hold 2nd Session of Bilateral Political Consultations in Paris Next Year

Cambodia and France will organise the Second Session of Bilateral Political Consultations between the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs in Paris in 2024, after the first one was ended in Phnom Penh early this week in an atmosphere of cordial friendship, mutual respect and trust.

The schedule was shared by the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in a press release AKP received on Feb. 8.

The First Session of Bilateral Political Consultations was co-chaired by H.E. Dr. Chem Widhya, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Mr. Bertrand LORTHPLARY, Director of Asia and Oceania of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs.

On the occasion, the two sides reviewed the political, economic and social situation of their respective countries bearing in mind the rule of law which regulates their countries. They exchanged in-depth views on their bilateral relations and the political, educational and cultural levels.

They agreed to further enhance trade relations and promote investment taking into account the attractiveness of Cambodia within the dynamic regional market of the ASEAN Community and the large market provided by the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), her dual French and English identities as well as the new generous Investment Law and the geographical advantage at the heart of ASEAN.

Similarly, the French side has taken note of the new strategy of the Royal Government which focuses on the cooperation in the fields of science and technology in the future and on trainings of one and a half million young people to become qualified human resources in the coming years. France excelled in the professional training sector.

In this regard, Mr. Bertrand LORTHOLARY paid tribute to the resounding success of the Royal Government in its strategy to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic which has enable a rapid, dynamic and notable economic recovery of around 5.2 percent in 2022.

For his part, H.E. Dr. Chem Widhya stressed the importance of a long-standing faithful friendship that Cambodia nurtures toward France, including that in the framework of La Francophonie, which Cambodia is a founding member as initiated by late His Majesty Norodom Sihanouk in 1970. Cambodia salutes the leading role of France for peace, recovery and sustained economic, and social development in Cambodia. This is reflected in AFD’s long and continuous presence in the country.

In addition, both sides agreed on the vital importance of ASEAN-France relations, including the resumption of negotiations for a region-to-region free trade area between ASEAN and the European Union (EU). Cambodia highly appreciates the EU’s Indo-Pacific strategy which was reflected by the Ministerial Forum for Indo-Pacific Cooperation held under the French Presidency of the European Commission on Feb. 22, 2022 in Paris. This strategy complements the one developed by ASEAN through ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific-AOIP.

Cambodia and France are in favour of a strict respect for international law and multilateralism under the aegis of international institutions, primarily the United Nations, ASEAN and the EU.

The representatives of the two Ministries also underlined the significance of tacking global challenges together such as climate change and transnational crimes as well as other non-traditional challenges, and joint efforts to try to resolve regional conflicts through peaceful means and inclusive dialogue.

Earlier, on Jan. 23, 2023, Cambodia and France signed the Joint Declaration of Intent on the Establishment of a Mechanism for Bilateral Political Consultations between Cambodia and France.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press