May 18, 2022

DPM Prak Sokhonn Appreciates Australia’s Contribution in Cambodia’s Peace Process

H.E. Deputy Prime Minister Prak Sokhonn, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, appreciated the significant contribution made by Australia, particularly by H.E. Lieutenant General John Sanderson in his capacity then as Commander of the international military component of UNTAC in the peace process in Cambodia.
The Deputy PM made the appreciation during his meeting at the ministry on April 26, 2022 with H.E. Lt. Gen. John Murray Sanderson, former UNTAC force Commander, former first Commander Joint Forces Australia and former Governor of Western Australia, who was on a visit to Cambodia to mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Cambodia-Australia and the 30th anniversary of the establishment of UNTAC, according to a press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation issued last night.
The Deputy PM recalled the achievements registered by the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) in carrying out the main objectives of the Paris Agreement, including the organisation of the general elections in 1993 despite the boycott of the Khmers Rouges and their continued guerrilla warfare. After the withdrawal of UNTAC, he underlined, Samdech Techo Prime Minister Hun Sen launched the win-win policy that has brought about national reconciliation, full peace and stability to the country in 1998.
Deputy PM Prak Sokhonn highlighted the socio-economic development achieved in Cambodia, saying the average annual GDP growth of more than 7 percent over two decade-has upgraded Cambodia from a low-income country to a lower middle-income status in 2015. He expressed his thanks for Australia’s contribution in socio-economic development in Cambodia.
The Deputy PM also made known to Lt. Gen. Anderson Cambodia’s pride in transforming from a recipient of the UN Peacekeepers to become a country that has so far contributed more than 8 thousand Cambodian forces in the UN peacekeeping missions in 8 countries in Africa and the Middle-East.
Deputy PM Prak Sokhonn and Lt. Gen. Sanderson shared satisfaction with the excellent, long lasting friendship and cooperation since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1951.
Lt. Gen. Sanderson expressed his deep appreciation for the fast development in the country and commended the Royal Government of Cambodia for the successful vaccination campaign as well as the dispatching of thousands Cambodian forces to take part in the UN peacekeeping operations in different countries worldwide.
Deputy PM Prak Sokhonn briefed his interlocutor on the outcomes of his first visit to Myanmar in March, highlighting the challenges and especially the complexity on the ground for peace dialogue among all parties concerned. He emphasised the three urgent priorities, namely: (1) Making steps toward ending violence, (2) Facilitating the distribution of humanitarian assistance and (3) Building trust and enabling environment as prerequisites for political dialogue. He also touched on his plan to arrange the Consultative Meeting on Humanitarian Assistance in Phnom Penh in early May 2022.
Lt. Gen. Sanderson appreciated the endeavors of Samdech Techo Prime Minister Hun Sen as the ASEAN Chair and of the Deputy PM himself as the ASEAN Chair’s Special Envoy for Myanmar in seeking solution for Myanmar’s current crisis, especially by using Cambodia’s experiences.
Deputy PM Prak Sokhonn and Lt. Gen. Sanderson also touched on some regional and international issues of common concerns.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press

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