November 2, 2023
PHNOM PENH – Cambodia and the UK signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the establishment of bilateral political consultations at the foreign ministry level to push for more cooperation between the two kingdoms.
The MoU was signed at a ceremony held on October 31 during the “First Round of Bilateral Consultations” at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, between ministry secretary of state Chem Widhya and UK ambassador Dominic Williams.
According to the release, Widhya expressed his appreciation to the UK for its invaluable assistance to Cambodia over the years. He said the assistance has made a significant contribution to Cambodia’s socio-economic development, especially through support for education, heath, the Khmer Rouge tribunal and demining activities.
He also briefed Williams on the current political situation and economic development of Cambodia, in particular this year’s general election and the introduction of six priority programmes under the first phase of the government’s Pentagonal Strategy.
The ministry said Williams applauded Cambodia’s remarkable progress and achievements, and reiterated the UK’s strong commitment to continue to enhance cooperation through both bilateral and multilateral frameworks.
“Both agreed to work hand-in-hand to further strengthen and expand potential areas of future cooperation. They pledged to increase exchanges of visits and hold regular consultations and dialogue between the two countries,” it added.
Both Widhya and Williams saw the significance of the bilateral political consultations mechanism in promoting cooperation between the two nations.
Following the meeting, Williams announced his pleasure at the signing.
“Pleased to sign an MoU and launch our first formal political dialogue with Cambodia, henceforth an annual event. This forum allows both countries to take a strategic overview of collaboration in all areas, from trade to human rights, as well as discuss key international issues,” he tweeted.
“Both sides look forward to the holding of the Second Session of the Bilateral Consultation, to be held in London next year,” added the ministry.
The UK embassy also took to social media to acknowledge the significance of the meeting.
“Ambassador Williams and Cambodian foreign ministry secretary of state Widya today led the first round of bilateral political consultations between the UK and Cambodia. The discussions spanned a range of topics, including domestic, regional and global affairs, multilateral relations and development cooperation,” it tweeted.