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Lt. Gen. Hun Manet Receives French Ambassador to Cambodia at RCAF Headquarters

PHNOM PENH: The Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) and the Commander of the Royal Cambodian Army, Lt. Gen. Hun Manet, met with the French Ambassador to Cambodia, Jacques Pellet, at the Headquarters of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, on Tuesday afternoon, 17 May.

During the meeting, Lt. Gen. Hun Manet mentioned the long-standing friendship between the two countries, who have so far enjoyed good cooperation in all fields. On behalf of the Cambodian people, Lt. Gen. Hun Manet also thanked the French Republic for its past assistance to Cambodia on many important tasks, such as the national unification of Cambodia through France’s role as co-chair of the Paris Conference, the deployment of peacekeeping forces to Cambodia, the provision of development assistance and scholarships for Cambodian students, aiding legal development, including providing funding for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, supporting the incorporation of the Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site, providing funding for the Covid-19 Research Project, as well as supporting Cambodia's role as the 2022 ASEAN Chair and the Prime Minister's efforts to find a peaceful solution to the ongoing conflict in Myanmar.

As for military cooperation, Lt. Gen. Manet also noted the strong bilateral cooperation manifested through various agreements at both the level of the government and the level of the Ministry of National Defense. Through these bases, many cooperative activities were implemented, including disaster and docking exercises, military assistance and human resource training in military skills, peacekeeping operations and the French language, especially support for active military academies and the National Center for Peacekeeping Forces Management, and clearance of mines and explosive remnants of war.

In response, Ambassador Jacques Pellet expressed his pride in the historical relationship between Cambodia and France, especially in 2022, which marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, and the 30th anniversary of French peacekeeping operations in Cambodia. The Ambassador noted that Cambodia is a country that has a bitter history as a victim of chronic war, but now Cambodia has a highly capable army that is experienced in peacekeeping, has proficiency in the French language and has been on duty in many countries in the world. The Ambassador said that what he is most proud of is that 19 percent of the Cambodian Blue Helmet troops are women, exceeding the expectations of the United Nations. Women forces are very important and high in demand, as most of the victims in warring states are women, making it imperative that women be able to work closely with other women.

The French Ambassador also congratulated Cambodia for being one of the leading countries in the world for combating and controlling the spread of Covid-19, and further congratulated Lt. Gen. Hun Manet on his recent award from the Royal Government of Cambodia for his past contributions in the fight against Covid-19.

Going forward, the two sides expressed their willingness and interest in stepping up efforts to boost military cooperation between the two countries, especially in considering building direct relations between the two countries' armies, which can be an important part of strengthening relations between the two countries. The two sides also exchanged views on global and regional issues, noting the importance and necessity of peace, stability, and development for all.

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