Home India News Cambodian PM Hun Sen arrives

Cambodian PM Hun Sen arrives


New Delhi : Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen arrived here Sunday on a three-day state visit that is expected to see economic, energy and cultural ties between the two countries intensify.

Foreign Minister Hor Namhong, Defence Minister Tea Banh and Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh are accompanying Hun Sen in his first trip to India in seven years.

Building upon their historical and cultural ties, India and Cambodia, a member of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), are expected to sign a clutch of agreements in areas of energy, defence and culture.

However, a banquet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was to host Monday in Hun Sen's honour has been cancelled in view of the death Sunday of former prime minister Chandra Shekhar.

An agreement on cooperation and technical assistance between the National Petroleum Authority of Cambodia and the Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC) of India is likely to be signed in the presence of the two prime ministers Monday.

Agreements on prisoner exchange and defence cooperation are also likely.

India is involved in an array of developmental and human resource training projects in Cambodia like the Cambodia-India Entrepreneurship Development Centre and Museum of Traditional Asian Textiles.

India is a key provider of IT services to Cambodia and Indian companies are teaching Cambodians English at various centres.

Hun Sen will also visit Kolkata before returning home Wednesday morning.

In the cultural arena, India has been in the forefront of helping Cambodia in conserving the Angkor Wat temple complex – hailed as a marvel of centuries-old Khmer culture that reveals a distinct imprint of Hindu traditions in the Buddhist nation.

New Delhi has also agreed to work on the conservation and restoration of Ta Prom, another temple complex in the Angkor Park area, at a cost of $5 million.

Hun Sen's visit underscores India's growing ties with ASEAN countries as it continues its diplomatic efforts to expand engagement with this region.

Hun Sen comes to India a day after Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung ended a three-day visit. Thai Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont visited India last month. That was preceded by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee's trip to Singapore and the Philippines.