Senate president Say Chhum said he is confident that the newly appointed German ambassador to Cambodia, Stefan Anton Messerer, will enhance the two countries’ already close relations, saying the Kingdom is always ready for cooperation for mutual benefits.

During a meeting with Messerer on September 7, Say Chhum congratulated him on his appointment to the post of ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of Germany to Cambodia by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

According to the Senate, Messerer expressed his satisfaction with and appreciation for the "excellent" relationship and level of cooperation between the two countries. He said he would contribute to further enhancing this excellent cooperation between their governments and peoples.

"[Say Chhum] is confident that [Messerer] will continue to work to preserve the tradition of good friendship and cooperation between the two countries and peoples who have enjoyed good relations for a long time, and that he will endeavour to make them even better,” it said in a press release.

According to the press release, the German government provides significant development assistance to Cambodia in sectors like education, health, mine clearing, the Khmer Rouge tribunal, rural energy governance and development generally.

“[Say Chhum] confirmed that the Senate, National Assembly, the government, ministries and national institution of the Kingdom are always ready to cooperate closely with the German ambassador to Cambodia on strengthening friendship and cooperation for the benefit of both countries and peoples,” the press release said.

In early July, chargé d'affaires at the German embassy in Cambodia, Jost Kade,l visited the Heinrich Boll Foundation's offices in Phnom Penh to exchange information about work being done on resource governance, gender equality, democracy and other activities in Cambodia.

The Ministry of Interior confirmed in June that Germany was committed to further expanding cooperation with Cambodia in order to advance the work of decentralisation and deconcentration reforms throughout the Kingdom.

In 2020, Germany announced an additional aid package of €3.5 million ($3.4 million) in funding for HALO Trust for demining operations in Cambodia in 2020-2021 and also committed to helping the Kingdom achieve its 2025 mine-free goal.

Heng Kimkong, a visiting senior research fellow at the Cambodia Development Centre, said Cambodia should proactively engage Germany as much as possible in order to strengthen bilateral relations to enable the Kingdom to receive more support.

Kimkong noted that, as the nation with the fourth-largest GDP globally and one of the leading EU member states, Germany is in a position to provide significant assistance to Cambodia in a number of ways.

“Germany has been a key development partner of Cambodia for some time and therefore it’s important for the Kingdom to be strategic in mobilising support from them,” he told The Post.