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Cambodian Senate President Urges Qatar to Establish Embassy and Resume Flights

PHNOM PENH, April 9, 2024 — Senate President of Cambodia, Hun Sen, urged Qatar today to establish an embassy in Cambodia and to resume flights between the two nations, aiming to bolster trade, investment, and tourism.

During a courtesy visit by the Qatari Ambassador to Cambodia, Khalid Ali Abdullah Abel, Hun Sen highlighted the importance of strengthening diplomatic ties, which were first established in 2008 following a visit by the Prime Minister of Qatar to Cambodia. He emphasized that Qatar, as a wealthy nation, should have an official embassy in Cambodia instead of managing its affairs from another country.

The Senate President also stressed the significance of Qatar's relations with ASEAN, recalling Qatar's signing of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation during Cambodia's ASEAN chairmanship in 2022.

Hun Sen advocated for the resumption of flights by Qatar Airlines, which were suspended since the COVID-19 outbreak, to facilitate people-to-people contact and boost tourism from the Middle East and Europe to Cambodia, and vice versa. He also encouraged Qatar to consider a bilateral free trade agreement, noting Cambodia's existing agreements with China, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia.

In response, Ambassador Abel committed to enhancing the bilateral relations between the two nations, especially in the field of food security, given Cambodia's status as a food-producing country. He also expressed intentions to promote investment opportunities for Qatari investors in Cambodia, particularly in sectors like oil, gas, infrastructure, hospital, and airport construction.

The discussions underscored a mutual interest in deepening diplomatic and economic relations, leveraging both nations' strategic interests to foster broader regional cooperation.

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