February 22, 2023
PHNOM PENH – Deputy Prime Minister and foreign minister Prak Sokhonn will pay an official visit to Thailand on February 23-24 for talks on bilateral relations and cooperation on a wide range of issues, following an invitation from his Thai counterpart Don Pramudwinai.
A February 21 press release by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said Sokhonn and Don would hold bilateral meetings to deliberate on across-the-board aspects of their excellent relationship. The two nations’ “thriving” cooperation ranges from trade, investment and labour to education, health and culture. Cooperation within the ASEAN framework – as well as regional and international issues of common interest and concern – will also be discussed.
Sokhonn will also pay a courtesy call on Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha.
“The traditional friendship, good neighbourliness and close all-round cooperation between the two kingdoms have been constantly deepened and expanded, reaching the level of ‘Partners in Peace and Prosperity’,” the press release said.
The Thai foreign ministry issued a February 21 press release stating that the visit would focus on “Enhancing Forward-Looking Partnership for Peace and Common Prosperity” to strengthen bilateral cooperation in all aspects.
It said the two countries would explore ways to further increase bilateral trade and investment, promote greater connectivity, strengthen security cooperation to maintain peace and uplift the wellbeing of people residing along the border areas, enhance cooperation to tackle transnational organised crimes – especially the so-called “call centre” scamming networks – and perhaps most importantly, promote friendship and mutual understanding at the people-to-people level.
“The two sides will also have the opportunity to discuss regional issues of common interest. Thailand and Cambodia share a unique relationship that is enjoyed by people from all walks of life,” it said.
“The visit underlines the excellent relations and close friendship between Thailand and Cambodia, as well their common desire to forge an ever-stronger relationship. They seek to emerge stronger together from the impacts of Covid-19, for the benefit of the peoples of both countries,” it added.
Yang Peou, secretary-general of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said the two neighbours had shared historical and cultural ties for centuries.
“On cross-border trade, we are interdependent, including the exchange of goods and the movement of mobile labour. We rely on one another, so we cannot allow politics to interfere or let outside forces disturb our relationship,” he told The Post on February 21.
He added that the two nations share a common position on regional issues, especially the crisis in Myanmar. Cambodia attended Thailand’s informal December meeting to address the crisis, held because Thailand shares a border with Myanmar.
Sokhonn also attended an informal ministerial consultation on the situation in Myanmar that was organised by the Thai foreign minister at the same as the Thailand-Myanmar bilateral talks in Bangkok.
The meeting intended to complement ASEAN’s joint efforts to find a peaceful political solution to the situation in Myanmar.
In December 2021, Don visited Cambodia and co-chaired the 11th meeting the Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation between Thailand and Cambodia with Sokhonn.