Cambodia and Laos prison officials have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to deepen cooperation between the two countries’ prison systems.

Both sides shared experiences with one another in order to strengthen and expand their comprehensive strategy partnership and help one another resolve crime issues, as well as other problems of common concern.

The signing event, held on December 5 in Phnom Penh, was witnessed by Chhorn Sanath, director-general of the Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Prisons (GDP), and his Lao counterpart Sumlith Daohungsuli.

During the meeting, Sumlith reported on the present situation of prison management in Laos, and shared some of his own experiences with the Cambodian delegation. Sanath also offered some of his own experiences.

“After completing their discussions and exchange viewpoints of various issues of common concern, the two sides signed the MoU on prison cooperation,” said an interior ministry social media post.

The post quoted the Lao director as lauding the excellent cooperation between the two countries, noting that the neighbouring nations not only share land and water borders, but similar traditions and cultures.

“The peoples of the two nations are friendly toward one another and have long helped each other, during national unification, as they gained independence from foreign aggressors and during the current era of development of our countries. The legacy of this solidarity is a factor in our unbreakable relationship,” he said.

He added that the implementation of the MoU would strengthen and expand the lasting comprehensive strategy partnership between the two institutions.

Then-Prime Minister Hun Sen paid his last official visit to Laos on February 13-14, at the invitation of his Lao counterpart Sorn Sai Siphandon. 

During a joint press conference at the time, Hun Sen announced that Cambodia planed to extradite some of the Lao and Thai prisoners currently detained in Cambodia to their homelands before the Khmer New Year celebrations in April 2023, as part of humanitarian work, and to strengthen diplomatic ties with the neighbouring countries. 

“I made this announcement to my Lao counterpart. We don’t need to wait for reciprocity. Cambodia has decided to extradite the detainees in Cambodia to Laos before Khmer New Year,” he said.