Phnom Penh (FN), Oct. 19 – Prime Minister Hun Sen of the Kingdom of Cambodia departed Phnom Penh on Saturday morning to visit three countries in Europe, namely the Czech Republic, Hungary, and the Republic of Bulgaria, from 13-17 October 2019 respectively.
Prime Minister was accompanied by H.E. Prak Sokhonn, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, H.E. Pan Sorasak, Minister of Commerce, H.E. Lim Kean Hor, Minister of Water Resources and Meteorology, H.E. Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism, as well as other senior government officials and a number of business leaders from the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce.
Prime Minister Hun Sen of the Kingdom of Cambodia arrived Czech Republic at 3 p.m Sunday, time in Prague. The premier and Cambodian delegation were warmly welcomed by Czech Ambassador to Cambodia Marek Libricky, Czech Protocol Official Petra Jensi Kova, Cambodian Ambassador to Czech, and many other dignitaries.
On 13 October 2019, Prime Minister Hun Sen met with Cambodian citizens, students and embassy officials in Czech Republic. The premier recommended Khmer community, especially students, in Czech to stay informed about Cambodia through Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Facebook page and Fresh News in order to avoid distorted news about Cambodia.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš hold a bilateral meeting on the morning of 14 October 2019 during which various aspects of bilateral cooperation discussed. The two Prime Ministers also exchanged views on regional and international issues of common interest.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen thanked the Czech Government and People for granting USD 1.5 million aids to Cambodia annually from 2018-2023, and for turning the debt, which Cambodia owed since the 1980s, into development assistance in Cambodia.
At a joint conference, in order to further strengthen Cambodia-Czech military ties, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen announced to buy four more Czech-made Aero L-39 Albatros, while Cambodia had purchased six L-39 jets.
Prime Minister Hun Sen invited his Czech counterpart to visit Cambodia at his convenience, which is cordially accepted.
The two leaders concluded the bilateral summit by signing three important documents: Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between the Ministry of Health of Cambodia and the VAMED Health Implementation Agency, between the Cambodian and the Czech Chamber of Commerce, and between the National Institute of Diplomacy and International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia, and the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Czech.
During the visit, Prime Minister also paid a courtesy call on H.E. Jaroslav Kubera, President of the Senate of the Czech Republic. At the meeting, the two sides called for exchanging visits to the special committees of the two countries and support each other in international cooperation, especially in the context of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and other forums.
The two leaders also discussed the parliamentary body of the two countries by proposing the formation of a United Cambodian-Czech National Assembly group. On behalf of the President of Cambodian National Assembly Heng Samrin, the Prime Minister invited the Czech side to attend the 11th Asia-Europe Partnership Meeting (ASEM) in Cambodia in 2020.
After a two-day visit to Czech Republic, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and delegates left Czech and landed in Budapest, Hungary, safe through a special flight on 14 October 2019.
On 14 October 2019, Cambodian Prime Minister met with Cambodian students in Hungary. He also stressed that as long as Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) continues to win the elections, the Royal Government will not charge any taxes on farmland and from minimum wage workers.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen attended the 3rd Water Summit in Budapest, Hungary, from 15-17 October 2019, under the theme “Preventing Water Crises”. Prime Minister also highlighted some priorities related to the approach for management, governance and financing as follows:
First, continue with the initiatives to create a new global political architechture for water resources management so as to mobilize support from all stakeholders, nurture water-saving spirit as well as avoid water-polluting activities, and develop strong institutional governance and water policy with harmony and transparency.
Second, enhnace coordination, cooperation and accountability on water issue under the global framework, with the United Nations as an effective guidue in addressing unversal issue and and in implementing the 2030 Global Agenda as well as the Paris Agreement.
Third, strengthen coordination and cooperation at both technical and policy levels on the issues of water, energy, climate change, food, health and biodiversity conservation aiming to promote and strengthen the governance and joint management of water resources through inter-ministerial coordination at all levels as well as engaging all relevant actors and all water users.
Fourth, enhance commitment at national level to eliminate the source of contamination of water by enhancing wastewater treatment capacity, increasing storage capacity of contaminated water and strengthening mechanisms to prevent all forms of water pollution.
Fifth, create an inter-linkage of water-related policies by strengthening the design of institutional mechanisms, tightening regulations and legal frameworks.
Sixth, encourage the development of new approaches on the sharing of benefits and responsibilities to maintain water sources, as well as planning and operation of infrastructure on transboundary water in order to prevent eventual conflicts and ensure sustainability of shared water usage.
Seventh, increase public investment in water management and access to clean water and sanitation in line with the goals set in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Eight, engage in the building of supportive environment for innovative business models that provides incentive to sustainable financing for providing clean water service by ensuring affordable prices with high hygiene standards in line with prevention and improvement for sustainable water and soil ecosystem; and
Finally, strengthen capacity in monitoring water-related issues under the framework of Sustainable Development Goals, as well as encourage the effort to collect water-related data and analysis at all levels with a commitment on political and financial support.
During his stay in Budapest, Cambodian Prime Minister also received a separate courtesy call by H.E. Li Yong, Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). Prime Minister informed the Director General the Royal Government’s commitment to transform Sihanoukville province into special economic zone to support Cambodia's economic development.
During the meeting, Li Yong also informed the premier that in 2017, UNIDO and Cambodia signed an agreement on cooperation in key areas such as food, industry and the environment.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen also paid a courtesy call on Hungarian President Janos Ader on 15 October 2019 in Budapest, Hungary. The president also announced to support Cambodia in maintaining EU's Everything But Arms (EBA) preferential trade scheme.
Addressing at the 3rd Water Summit in Budapest, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has used the word “white gold” to refer to “water”, which caught the attention of many leaders. The Hungarian president requested the premier’s permission to use the terms “white gold” as the substitution of water under the premier’s copyrights.
At the meeting, Janos Ader said that he will lead a high-level delegation to Cambodia in late October 2019, following the invitation of Cambodian His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni. Prime Minister Hun Sen also welcomed the President's visit to Cambodia.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen arrived Sofia, Bulgaria after concluding visits to Czech Republic and Hungary, at the invitation of H.E. Boyko Borissov, Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria.
Prime Minister was warmly welcomed by Bulgarian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Georg Georgiev, and Bulgarian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Cambodia Marinela Petkova, and many other dignitaries.
Cambodia and Bulgaria signed three documents to further strengthen relations and cooperation and the three documents includes:
(1) Agreement on Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation between Cambodian and Bulgarian Government
(2) Program for Cultural Cooperation between Cambodian and Bulgarian Ministry of Culture; and
(3) Memorandum of Understanding between the National Institute of Diplomacy and International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Kingdom of Cambodia, and the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria.
Cambodian-Bulgarian Prime Ministers held a joint press conference at 4:00 pm (Cambodian time) on 16 October 2019 to release the outcome of the bilateral meeting. Cambodian-Bulgarian relationship has been established for approximately 60 years.
The premier also mentioned the Bulgarian Government's assistance to Cambodia after the Pol Pot genocide and thanked the government and the people of Bulgaria for its continued assistance to Cambodia.
During the visit, Prime Minister Hun Sen paid a courtesy call on H.E. Rumen Radev, President of the Republic of Bulgaria. The premier told Bulgarian President Rumen Radev that the kingdom wants justice from the EU concerning the attempt to withdraw Cambodia’s access to EU market under EBA framework, and Cambodia’s democracy is moving forward as evidently shown in the 2018 general elections, where 20 political parties raced in the elections and 83 percent voters turned out.
During his visit to Bulgaria, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen also introduced his eldest granddaughter to the Bulgarian President and Prime Minister. The premier also posted on Facebook explaining the reason why he took his granddaughter to meet the President and the Prime Minister of Bulgaria and that is because his granddaughter studied political science, so the premier wants to help his granddaughter to achieve her goals.
In the morning of October 17, 2019, Prime Minister Hun Sen and delegates visited the Kopitoto natural mountain in Sofia, Republic of Bulgaria. The Kopitoto mountain has a population of more than 1.2 million people, located at the edge of Vitosha mountain in western Bulgaria.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and delegates landed in Phnom Penh safe on Friday morning after concluding visits to three countries in Europe, namely the Czech Republic, Hungary, and the Republic of Bulgaria, from 13-17 October 2019 respectively.