Paris (FN), Dec. 14 – French president Emmanuel Macron expressed his deep gratitude to Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen for taking a firm stance on Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

The premier spoke at a joint press conference with French president Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace during his working visit to Paris on 13 December 2022.

The two leaders reiterated the long-standing ties and cooperation between the two countries.

During the conference, Macron recalled the promotion and protection of peace in Cambodia in the past. The president also recalled General Charles de Gaulle's 1966 speech in Phnom Penh calling on the United States not to escalate war in Indochina.

President Macron also recalled the signing of the 1991 Paris Agreement on Peace in Cambodia to ensure Cambodia's sovereignty and territorial integrity for the reconstruction of Cambodia.

While reminding Cambodia of its support for the peace process in the past, Macron also expressed his gratitude and admiration for premier Hun Sen’s stance on the Ukraine crisis.

"While the war is raging in Europe, Samdech has decided to come to Paris to attend a conference on standing with the people of Ukraine within the framework of the continued implementation of UN resolutions condemning Russia's persecution and to maintain lasting peace. I would like to thank the premier very much,” Macron underlined.

The president also highlighted that the meeting with Samdech also allowed the two sides to discuss cooperation within the framework of the Indo-Pacific Strategy.

During the press conference, Macron also praised Cambodia for its commitment to combating climate change.

"I would have had a loophole if I had not welcomed Cambodia's ambitions on climate change, aiming to be carbon neutral by 2050," Macron said. "this is a remarkable example of a country managing a fast development with a great energy policy in mind."

In this press conference, premier Hun Sen also thanked France for its significant contribution to the process of peace building and development of Cambodia until now. He also thanked the president for the French government’s acceptance of Cambodian people fleeing the war and the genocidal regime of Pol Pot.

"Our progress cannot be separated from the French support," he said.

During the press conference, Samdech informed Macron about the discovery of the Cambodia-France Friendship Statue and plans to rebuild it in front of the French Embassy in Phnom Penh.

According to the premier, this statue was found three days before his trip to France. The statue was built in 1925 and was demolished by the Khmer Rouge in 1977.

"I have already agreed with the Minister of Lands and Urban Planning that we will rebuild this statue, which is a symbol of solidarity between France and Cambodia, and put it in front of the French Embassy," he said. "Hopefully the president does not oppose this project."

Premier Hun Sen also proposed the resumption of talks to set a clear date for the establishment of diplomatic relations between France and Cambodia.

On that occasion, Samdech also mentioned his prediction that France is likely to win 2022 FIFA World Cup.