King Norodom Sihamoni and Prime Minister Hun Sen tout long-standing cooperation and bonds of friendship between Cambodia and India, as the two countries celebrate their 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations.
In his May 31 letter to Indian President Ram Nath Kovind, the King said the bilateral ties – established on May 30, 1952, and deeply rooted in a long history of shared religious, cultural and linguistic heritage – have withstood the test of time over the last 70 years.
He said that despite the numerous challenges the two nations have faced, the relationship continued to be nurtured and strengthened.
“It is to my heartfelt satisfaction that I witness the growing trust between our countries elevated to new heights as reflected in the increase of official delegations as well as people-to-people, cultural, trade and economic exchanges,” the King noted.
The two countries can take great pride in their cooperative efforts and contributions to securing peace, stability and shared prosperity for our region and the world at large,” he added.
“As Cambodia and India continue our common journey toward a brighter future, I am reassured that the 70-year-old foundation of our bilateral relationship will serve as the stepping stone to enable us to forge a much more rigorous partnership, capable of bringing about substantial benefits to our peoples, our region and our planet,” he added.
Prime Minister Hun Sen also pledged to continue working closely with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to bring peace, stability, and prosperity for the benefit of the two nations.
“Reflecting on our bilateral achievements over the past 70 years, I am confident that many more cooperation opportunities could be undertaken for the mutual benefit of our peoples.
“I am keen to continue working closely with Your Excellency to transform our cooperation into one that can bring about peace, stability, and prosperity for our people and nations,” he said in his May 27 letter to Modi.
Hun Sen said that since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1952, Cambodia and India have nurtured a strong and mutually beneficial partnership at all levels, be they at the bilateral, regional or multilateral level.
He noted that the two countries have broadened their cooperation both in scope and depth. Their combined work encompasses many areas of shared interests ranging from security to socio-economic development.
“I look forward to one full year of joint activities – both in Cambodia and in India – to commemorate our diplomatic relationship, which in my view would be a great testimony to our enduring friendship,” Hun Sen said.
As the chair of ASEAN this year, Cambodia is also ready to work with the other ASEAN member states and India to reinforce the ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership, he said.
Hun Sen said he is looking forward to welcoming Modi to Cambodia to join the ASEAN-India Summit and other related summits in October.
Heng Kimkong, a visiting senior research fellow at the Cambodia Development Centre, said that in the context of increasing competition between great powers, especially the US and China, it is necessary for the Kingdom to strengthen relations with other regional powers like India.
“Moreover, Cambodia needs to strategically engage India to reap maximum benefits from bilateral ties,” he told The Post on June 7.