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Laos Reaffirms Strong Ties and Support for Cambodian Canal Project Amid Regional Challenges

PHNOM PENH, April 23, 2024 — In a series of high-level meetings with Cambodian leaders, Lao President Mr. Thongloun Sisoulith affirmed his country's support for Cambodia's ambitious Funan Techo Canal Project and reiterated the enduring friendship between the two nations.

During a meeting on April 23 with Senate President Hun Sen, President Sisoulith expressed Laos' backing of the canal initiative, which aims to provide Cambodia with a direct sea route. President Hun Sen assured that the project, expected to significantly enhance Cambodia's transport and investment sectors, would be environmentally sustainable, not affecting the water flow or the ecology of the region.

Mr. Sisoulith praised Cambodia's development trajectory, highlighting shared progress and cooperation, particularly in the energy sector. He committed to ensuring sufficient electricity supplies to support Cambodia's growing needs.

In his dialogue with Khuon Sodary, President of the National Assembly, and Prime Minister Hun Manet, Mr. Sisoulith emphasized the historical bonds of friendship and brotherhood that have united the two countries since their independence. He declared that despite global and regional challenges, Laos is dedicated to maintaining and enhancing the relationship with Cambodia, focusing on mutual benefits and solidarity.

The meetings underscored a mutual commitment to strengthening bilateral ties, with Cambodian leaders expressing optimism about the future of the partnership. The Lao president’s visit was warmly received, with cultural gestures including a song posted by Prime Minister Hun Manet on Facebook to welcome Mr. Sisoulith to Cambodia.

The Funan Techo Canal, costing an estimated $1.7 billion and taking four years to complete, promises to boost Cambodia's economy by enhancing transportation, real estate, and other investments without relying on Vietnamese sea access.

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