August 30, 2023
PHNOM PENH – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently reached out to Hun Manet, offering his congratulations on the latter’s appointment as Cambodian prime minister. Additionally, Zelenskyy extended an invitation for his visit to Kyiv.
Zelenskyy commended Cambodia’s involvement in humanitarian demining efforts in Ukraine. He highlighted the nation’s crucial role in international initiatives aimed at countering Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, fostering global order and upholding the UN Charter, all based on the Ukrainian Peace Formula.
“I am confident that your work in this responsible public position will contribute to the further growth of the role of the Kingdom of Cambodia in the international arena, and the friendly relations between our states will acquire a qualitatively new practical character,” the letter stated.
Zelenskyy wished Manet success and extended well wishes for all the people of the nation.
Seun Sam, a policy researcher at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, regarded Zelenskyy’s congratulatory letter as positive, noting that several world leaders had also conveyed similar messages to Manet.
Commenting on the invitation, Sam suggested that Cambodia defer its response, considering Manet’s impending engagements with ASEAN and the UN General Assembly.
Addressing Cambodia’s stance on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Sam noted Menet’s alignment with former Prime Minister Hun Sen and adherence to prevailing international law – a strategic fit for the country’s position as a smaller nation.
Sam cautioned the new prime minister about tactfully navigating foreign policy in the context of the dispute, to avert any adverse repercussions for the country.
Separately, EU president Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen also conveyed her compliments to Manet on August 25. She underscored their enduring partnership, expressing a commitment to its continuation.
“In this regard, I look forward to working together with you and your administration to achieve the full potential of trade, investment and growth for both the European Union and Cambodia,” the letter stated.