PM Hun Sen Received by King-Father and Queen-Mother
Phnom Penh, December 15, 2010 AKP -- Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen was received in a royal audience by His Majesty King-Father Norodom Sihanouk and Her Majesty Queen-Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk on Dec. 14 in Beijing, on the second day of the premier’s five-day official visit to China.
On the occasion, Samdech Techo Hun Sen informed the former monarchs of his visit in China, which he said has brought a lot of benefits to the country and the Cambodian people.
During the bilateral meeting on Dec. 13, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao announced to consider Cambodia as China’s and the Chinese people’s best friend and to enhance the ties of cooperation between the two countries, from reliable partners to highest-level strategic partners, Samdech Techo Hun Sen said.
Both sides were committed to do their best to further strengthen their cooperation in bilateral, multilateral, regional and global frameworks, he stressed.
The Cambodian prime minister went on to say that to help boost Cambodia’s economy, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao announced a preferential loan for buyers to the Cambodian government, as well as a financial assistance for the construction of a laboratory to test the quality of rice and other agricultural products to be exported to China.
For his part, King-Father Norodom Sihanouk highly valued all the royal government’s achievements under the wise leadership of Samdech Techo Hun Sen. The former king also appreciated his untiring efforts in establishing relations with other countries in the world and in seeking all ways to find economic and financial resource for the country’s reconstruction.
China has been his and Cambodia’s best friend, King-Father said, expressing his satisfaction with the royal government’s policy in continuing to adhere to the One China policy and with the two leaders’ commitment to mutually support in all forums.
King-Father Norodom Sihanouk also reiterated his support until the end of his life to Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen as Prime Minister of Cambodia. --AKP
Text by CHEY Phum Pul
Translated by SOKMOM Nimul
Cambodian PM Visits Tianjin
Phnom Penh, December 15, 2010 AKP -- Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen Tuesday visited China’s coastal municipality of Tianjin, Chinese News Agency Xinhua reported.
While meeting the prime minister, Zhang Gaoli, member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China a (CPC) Central Committee and Party chief of Tianjin, said “China and Cambodia are good neighbors, friends and brothers.”
Country-to-country cooperation in such fields as trade, culture and agriculture was achieving important results, and Tianjin would like to help deepen this cooperation, Zhang said.
Samdech Techo Hun Sen said Tianjin was a very attractive place and welcomed the city’s firms to invest in Cambodia and help with its development.
During his Tianjin tour, Samdech Techo Hun Sen also visited the urban planning exhibition hall and the only Airbus A320 assembly plant outside Europe.
Samdech Techo Hun Sen’s on-going five-day China visit, which is at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao, is his third official such visit since taking office. --AKP
National Assembly President Backs Home from Cuba
Phnom Penh, December 15, 2010 AKP -- National Assembly President Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin returned home Tuesday after a week-long official friendship visit (Dec 5-13) to the Republic of Cuba.
Samdech Heng Samrin and his high-level parliamentary delegation were welcomed on the return at Phnom Penh International Airport by NA first Vice-President Nguon Nhel, and NA second Vice-President Say Chhum, and a number of the Members of the National Assembly.
Cuban ambassador to Cambodia was also present to welcome the delegation on the return.
The visit was made at the invitation of Ricado Alarcon De Quesada, President of the National Assembly of People's Power of Cuba (ANPP) and ended on Dec. 13, said H.E. Ngin Saphon, chairwoman of NA Commission for Public Works, Posts, Industry, Commerce and Land Management, at a press conference at the airport following the delegation’s arrival.
During an audience granted to National Assembly President Samdech Heng Samrin, ANPP President Ricado Alarcon De Quesada expressed warm welcome to Cambodian high-level parliamentary delegation. He also shared his condolences with the victims and families of victims in the Nov. 22 incident.
ANPP President Ricado Alarcon De Quesada noted that the visit by Cambodian high-level parliamentary delegation took place at the time when the Republic of Cuba celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Cambodia-Cuba Diplomatic Relationships, which, according to him, have seen a remarkable progress in the solidarity and friendship between the Parties and peoples of the two countries, though being located far apart from each other.
For his part, National Assembly President Samdech Heng Samrin appreciated the hospitality given to Cambodian high-level parliamentary delegation and informed his counterpart of the situation in Cambodia.
He welcomed the great achievements made by the Party, government and people of Cuba, headed by President Fidel Castro in the face of the economic and financial blockade.
National Assembly President Samdech Heng Samrin said he was convinced that the 6th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba in April 2011 would help evade the consequences resulting from the economic blockade, and speed up the development of Cuba.
He thanked Cuba for having assisted and supported Cambodia during the difficult time in the past and its continued assistance at present to the national reconstruction and development.
He invited ANPP President Ricado Alarcon De Quesada to visit Cambodia, and the invitation was accepted.
During his stay in Cuba, National Assembly President Samdech Heng Samrin met with a number of Cuban leaders and visited the High Scientific Center, the University of Informatic Sciences, the National Culture Centre of Cuba and other historical centres. --AKP
Text by CHIM Nary
Translated by Ravuth M.
Cambodia, China Promote Comprehensive Cooperation
Phnom Penh, December 15, 2010 AKP -- Cambodia and China have further enhanced a comprehensive cooperation between the two countries.
A series of agreements on the comprehensive cooperation were reached on Dec. 13 following a talk held by Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao during the Cambodian premier’s visit to China.
The two countries signed the agreements on the comprehensive cooperation in many fields such as consular affairs, China’s financial assistance in constructing a 300-km-long national road off the national road 4 to Chumkiri district of Kampot province, a canal, a second Chroy Changvar bridge in Phnom Penh, a bridge across the Tonle Bassac in Takhmao district of Kandal province, a coal-fired power plant in Preah Sihanouk province and the Cambodia’s cassava export to China.
They also strengthened coordination with various mechanisms to combat security threats.
Cambodian prime minister has been paying an official visit to China from Dec. 13 to 17 at the invitation of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. --AKP
Text by CHEY Phum Pul
Translated by THOU Peou
Vietnam Wishes to Finish Border Marker Planting by 2012
Phnom Penh, December 15, 2010 AKP -- Vietnam has requested the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) to help push the border marker planting between the two countries so that it could finish in 2012.
The request was made by visiting Le Quang Binh, chairman of the National Defense and Security Committee of the Vietnamese Assembly, during a meeting here yesterday with H.E. Tep Ngorn, second vice president of the Senate of Cambodia.
Mr. Le Quang Binh also asked, through the Senate, the RGC to help facilitate the Vietnamese living in Cambodia, Mrs. La Narida, official of the foreign relations office of the Senate told reporters after the meeting.
In reply, H.E. Tep Ngorn informed his guests of the RGC’s policy in managing the people to ensure social security. The Vietnamese living in Cambodia have to abide by the Cambodian law, he added.
Regarding the border marker planting, H.E. Tep Ngorn said the planting is based on the one hand on the geographical map and on the other hand on the real situation, which need more discussions.
Anyway, he said, the governments and the legislative bodies of the two neighboring countries will do their best to push the border marker planting so that the work could finish by 2012.
The 17-member Vietnamese delegation led by Mr. Le Quang Binh arrived in Cambodia on Dec. 13 for a friendly and official visit until Dec. 18. --AKP
By CHEA Vannak
Cambodia, Russia Discuss Bilateral Relations
Phnom Penh, December 15, 2010 AKP -- Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers H.E. Sok An received here on Tuesday a visiting Russian delegation led by H.E. Alexander Ignatov, Russian ambassador to Cambodia.
The meeting focused mainly on vision as well as present and future work in order to further enhance mutual relations and cooperation between Cambodia and Russia.
H.E. Sok An said both countries’ relationship has been evolving positively, which constitutes an important basis for strengthening and expanding this relationship.
He also recalled the close friendly relations between the two countries in the past, stressing that the Cambodian government and people will never forget Russia’s sympathy.
For his part, the Russian ambassador said he would do his best to strengthen the relations between the two countries and he is convinced that Cambodia and Russia will be able to strengthen and expand their cooperation in various fields.
He also suggested the visit exchange between both countries’ delegation. Russia is planning to celebrate next year the 55th anniversary of Cambodia-Russia diplomatic relations, he said.
On the occasion, the Cambodian deputy prime minister asked the Russian side to provide scholarships to students of the Royal Academy of Cambodia and to help preserve the Cambodian culture through the protection and safeguard of any temple in the Historic Site of Angkor.
He further recommended that both sides should have a MoU or an agreement between the Royal Academy of Cambodia and an institution of Russia.
H.E. Sok An also informed his guest of the tourist, agricultural and agro-industrial potentiality of Preah Vihear province. He thus, through the Russian delegation, called on Russian investors to come and invest in this northern province.
In reply, H.E. Alexander Ignatov pledged to submit the proposal and the recommendation to the Russian government.
Earlier on Dec. 13, Deputy Prime Minister H.E. Sok An also met with Mr. Nagesh Kumar, chief of Macroeconomic Policy and Development Division of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
Mr. Nagesh Kumar told H.E. Sok An of his visit to Cambodia, the purpose of which he said is to learn and exchange experiences with the Cambodian side. He further highly valued the fast development of the Kingdom and the warmth of the Cambodian people. --AKP
By SOKMOM Nimul
Cambodia Vows to Further Fights Against HIV/AIDS
Phnom Penh, December 15, 2010 AKP -- Cambodian Health Minister H.E. Mam Bun Heng called on all relevant institutions as well as local and international partners to actively participate in fighting against HIV/AIDS.
The call was made here on Tuesday at the 3rd Symposium on HIV/AIDS, Care and Treatment which attracted some 300 Cambodian and international delegates in attendance.
In his opening remarks, H.E. Mam Bun Heng said that the objective of the symposium is to draw more attention from all relevant institutions and partners to continue their efforts in dealing with other challenges that Cambodia will face in addressing the HIV/AIDS issue in the coming years.
The minister also stressed that the priorities ahead is to prevent another wave of HIV epidemic through more focus on targeted interventions among most-at-risk populations.
Australian Ambassador Ms. Penny Richard and U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia Ms. Carol A. Rodley both praised Cambodian government’s efforts in achieving the Millennium Development Goal in their respective speeches at the symposium.
It is estimated that there are 56,200 people living with HIV/AIDS in Cambodia. By the third quarter of this year, 41,669 people, including 4,003 children have received antiretroviral treatment, or more than 90 percent of those in need. --AKP
(By KEO Chandara)
ADB Provides US$19 Million for Conserving Forest in Cambodia
Phnom Penh, December 15, 2010 AKP -- Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved to provide US$19 million to Cambodia for conserving threatened forest in Cardamom Mountain and northeastern provinces, Chinese News Agency Xinhua quoted an ADB press release as saying on Monday.
ADB’s board of directors approved a total package of US$69 million, of which US$30 million loan to Vietnam, the grants of US$19 million and US$20 million to Cambodia and Laos respectively, for the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Biodiversity Conservation Corridors Project.
For Cambodia, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will be the executing agencies for the project, which is due for completion in September 2019.
Ros Sothea, communication coordinator at ADB-Cambodia, told Xinhua on Monday that Cambodia’s biodiversity conservation in Cardamom Mountain and northeastern provinces, will begin in April 2011 and complete in 2019.
She said the project will include the planting of native trees and other plants to restore habitats in the threatened forest areas.
The press release said that the whole project covers more than 1.9 million hectares of threatened forest land, home to over 170,000 mostly poor, ethnic minority people in Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. --AKP
Denmark Supports Mekong Countries in Addressing Environmental, Climate Issues
Phnom Penh, December 15, 2010 AKP -- Denmark offered a grant of 10 million Danish Kroner (about US$1.9 million) recently to Mekong river countries to strengthen their work on environmental protection and adaptation to climate risks, Chinese News Agency Xinhua quoted a statement released by Mekong River Commission (MRC) on Tuesday.
“This grant symbolizes Denmark's commitment to the sustainable development and protection of the environment and people's livelihoods in the Lower Mekong Basin,” said Jeremy Bird, CEO of the MRC Secretariat.
“Denmark's support will contribute directly towards improved basin management and will ensure that up-to-date information on environmental and social knowledge is produced and disseminated throughout the member countries,” he added.
As the MRC's largest donor, Denmark has continuously supported the MRC's Environment Programme since 2004.
The funding will go towards assisting Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam - the four member countries of the Mekong River Commission, for achieving greater environmental protection through improved basin management.
The grant will further develop the MRC knowledge base, which enhances regional understanding of environmental health and climate change risks in the Lower Mekong Basin.
With Denmark's support, the MRC has already set up long-term environmental monitoring activities surrounding water quality, ecological health and social impact assessments. Regional environmental management mechanisms and tools have also been developed to assist member countries on transboundary water issues.
The Environment Program aims to assist the MRC member countries in protecting the environment and maintaining the ecological balance of the Mekong Basin.
The lower part of the Mekong River Basin has a population of approximately 60 million and the great majority of the inhabitants are farmers and fishers, depending directly on the natural resource base. --AKP
Japan-Mekong Forum Focuses on Infrastructure
Phnom Penh, December 15, 2010 AKP -- The expansion of cooperation between Japan and the five Mekong nations in infrastructure development, logistics and distribution in Southeast Asia topped the agenda of a forum in Tokyo on Dec. 14.
Almost 150 government officials, businesspeople and experts from Japan, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam attended the forum, designed to promote public-private cooperation as well as cooperation in such areas as energy development, support of small and medium-sized enterprises and tourism, according to Vietnam News Agency (VNA).
At the outset of the one-day meeting, Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Hisashi Tokunaga said, “In recent years, with a view to helping close development gaps and reinforce integration within the ASEAN region, Japan has placed particular importance on its cooperation with the Mekong region”.
Tokunaga said Japan has “actively backed the improvement of hard and soft infrastructure” in the Mekong region, pointing to Japan's recent efforts to boost exports of its infrastructure systems by making arrangements to meet the needs of recipient countries through the integration of promising Japanese technologies.
Sumitaka Fujita, adviser to the Itochu Corp., said the Mekong region has “a special potential for future development” due to its position between the two Asian emerging powers China and India and its position at the centre of the ASEAN countries.
Fujita noted that many Japanese companies do business in the Mekong area, where the items they produce include exports bound for U.S. and European markets. Those firms also target the five Mekong nations with a combined population of more than 200 million, he added.
Fujita called on Japan and the Mekong countries to train personnel, establish systems to protect intellectual property and build more hard and soft infrastructure to support business activities in the Southeast Asian region.
The public-private forum was established in line with the Mekong-Japan Action Plan 63, which was adopted during the first-ever summit involving the six countries in Tokyo in November last year.
The outcomes of the forum will be reported to the Japan-Mekong Foreign Ministers Meeting and the Japan-Mekong Summit, scheduled to take place in 2011. --AKP