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Interior Minister starts five-day visit to Turkey

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Minister of Interior Sar Kheng embarked on a five-day visit to Turkey on Sunday. Sar Kheng’s Facebook page

Interior Minister starts five-day visit to Turkey

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sar Kheng embarked on a five-day official visit to Turkey on Sunday at the invitation of his counterpart there.

During his visit, which ends on Thursday, Sar Kheng is due to meet Turkish Minister of Interior Suleyman Soylu, with the pair set to sign an agreement on security cooperation between the countries, a Ministry of Interior press release said.

Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak told The Post on Monday that the agreement would be mutually beneficial in terms of exchanging information about Cambodian fugitives in Turkey and vice-versa, as well as in terms of “sharing knowledge or skills”.

Sar Kheng was also scheduled to visit law enforcement units under Turkey’s Ministry of Interior, the press release said.

Sar Kheng will also attend a law enforcement training school, where he will observe what cadets are being taught.

Prime Minister Hun Sen visited Turkey last year and signed several agreements to strengthen cooperation between the two countries.

In June, Hun Sen also met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, as he attended the fifth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia.

Political analyst Meas Nee told The Post on Monday that Turkey was in a similar position to Cambodia in terms of facing severe criticism from the West over declining human rights and democratic freedoms under Erdogan.

“They are not different from our country as they are exposed to foreign pressure and criticism. The government is trying to show that Cambodia still has the respect of other countries by attending regional and international conferences,” he said.

Kin Phea, the director of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said that the visit was a positive sign of cooperation between the nations.

“The visit of Sar Kheng reflects a mutual exchange of experiences and will deepen ties between the two countries.​The [security] agreement could be integral in helping Cambodia develop its internal security sector further,” he said.

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