Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister H.E. Prak Sokhonn, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation participated in the 2nd ASEAN-UK Open-ended Troika Dialogue via videoconference on April 8.
The Troika consists of Brunei Darussalam as the current Chair of ASEAN, Cambodia as the incoming Chair and the ASEAN Secretary General. Other ASEAN Foreign Ministers and their representatives also attended the videoconference.
According to a press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Meeting discussed the enhancement of ASEAN-UK relations and cooperation in a broad range of areas of common interests and mutual benefits. The Meeting exchanged views on cooperation in public health emergencies cooperation to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, economic recovery and climate change as well as other regional and international issues of common concern and interest. The Meeting reaffirmed the importance of multilateralism for effective and collective response to overcome the challenges posed by COVID-19 and committed to work in concert towards the post-pandemic sustainable economic recovery.
The Rt. Honourable Dominic Raab, UK Foreign Secretary, briefed the Meeting on the UK’s initiatives to combat the pandemic and her contribution to the global efforts to control the pandemic and curb its severe impacts. He also stressed on the need to ensure that the path to socio-economic recovery does not compromise on the health of the planet. He took the opportunity to brief on UK’s priority as host of the COP26.
ASEAN encouraged the UK to further strengthen cooperation with ASEAN and its Member States and expressed appreciation the UK’s contribution of £1 million to the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund. ASEAN also sought for more supports from the UK for other ASEAN initiatives to address the pandemic, including the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF) and the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases (ACPHEED) once they have been established.
The Meeting noted the UK’s application to establish Dialogue Partnership with ASEAN.
During the Virtual Meeting, H.E. Deputy Prime Minister expressed appreciation to the UK for her generous contribution to COVAX Facility, from which Cambodia is one of the first nations in the region to receive 324,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
On trade, he encouraged ASEAN and the UK to explore the possibility of having an ASEAN-UK FTA as well as to expand digital cooperation to support the growth of MSMEs.
With respect to climate change issue, H.E. Deputy Prime Minister expressed confidence that the COP26, under the UK’s Presidency, would provide excellent opportunity for ASEAN Members States to further engage with the UK to achieve the long-term and low-emission development strategies.
Source: Agency Kampuchea Press