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PMs affirm friendship on anniversary of ties

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Prime Minister Hun Sen and his Thai counterpart Prayut Chan-o-cha during the groundbreaking ceremony for the Stung Bot International Checkpoint in Banteay Meanchey province in 2019. SPM

PMs affirm friendship on anniversary of ties

Prime Minister Hun Sen and his Thai counterpart Prayut Chan-o-cha exchanged congratulatory letters as the two neighbouring kingdoms marked the 70th anniversary of their establishment of diplomatic relations on December 19.

In his letter to Prayut which was published by the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hun Sen observed that bilateral relations had developed tremendously since the commencement of diplomatic ties in 1950.

“Building on the solid foundation of traditional friendship, good neighbourliness and mutual understanding, our two kingdoms have broadened cooperation that has encompassed many areas of shared interests, namely politics and security, trade and investment, education, infrastructure and people-to-people linkages.

“On this note, I would like to reaffirm my unwavering commitment to working closely with Your Excellency to elevate our long-standing partnership to new heights, particularly as we overcome the unprecedented Covid-19 crisis and bring peace, stability and sustainable prosperity to our two nations, the ASEAN community and beyond,” Hun Sen wrote.

Likewise, Prayut sent a letter to Hun Sen on the same day affirming that the relationship between the two countries has never been stronger. Partnership continues to expand with cooperation and mutual benefits in all fields.

He said border areas are now enjoying the fruits of enduring peace and stability. Flourishing cross-border trade continues to create more jobs and bring better livelihoods for the peoples of both countries. Bilateral trade has grown from around $300 million 20 years ago to over $9 billion last year.

“Thai investments in Cambodia have been on the increase, contributing positively to Cambodia’s economy, while Thailand’s economy has also benefited greatly from Cambodia’s workforce and economic cooperation,” he said.

The two nations have made significant progress in enhancing their infrastructure connections, including the construction of the Thailand-Cambodia Friendship Bridge linking Sa Kaeo and Banteay Meanchey provinces and the revival of railway services that will connect many Thai and Cambodian communities in the near future, Prayut said.

“More recently, we have worked side by side to minimise the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on our economies and societies, which paves the way for even closer cooperation to address future regional and international challenges.

“It is my firm belief that the friendship between Thailand and Cambodia is strong and enduring and that our peoples, especially our new generations of young people, will continue to work together towards an even brighter future for our common peace, prosperity and development,” Prayuth said.

In a December 18 message commemorating the anniversary, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn noted that in first 10 months this year, bilateral trade reached $5.57 billion despite interruptions imposed by the pandemic.

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