Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn thanked the UK government for continuing to provide assistance to Cambodia in the areas of education, mine clearance and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC).
Sokhonn made the remarks during a meeting with his UK counterpart Dominic Raab on June 23, according to the foreign ministry’s press statement released after the meeting.
“They shared a common desire to further strengthen and expand bilateral relations and cooperation in various fields of mutual benefit – especially the economy, trade, education, mine clearance, health and the environment,” the statement said.
Sokhonn expressed appreciation for the UK’s contribution of £1 million to the Covid-19 ASEAN Response Fund and encouraged more support from the UK for other ASEAN initiatives to address the pandemic.
He also confirmed that Prime Minister Hun Sen will attend the forthcoming UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) to be held in Glasgow, Scotland.
Raab reaffirmed the UK’s support for the ASEM13 Summit hosted by Cambodia on November 25-26.
Asian Vision institute director Chheang Vannarith told The Post on June 24 that having left the EU, Britain is now seeking strategic trade and economic partners. Southeast Asia, he said, is one of its key target regions.
Britain’s relations with Cambodia are both bilateral and multilateral. The multilateral mechanism is an ASEAN-UK relationship that the UK wants to elevate further by becoming an ASEAN dialogue partner.
“As Britain leaves the EU, it wants to become a dialogue partner with Cambodia and with ASEAN. Cambodia, which next year will be the chair of ASEAN, also has an important role to play in promoting ASEAN relations with Britain,” he said.