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PM Requests Australia’s Support Ahead of Cambodia’s ASEAN Chairmanship

PHNOM PENH: Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested Australia’s support ahead of Cambodia’s ASEAN chairmanship in 2022. He made the request during Wednesday afternoon’s ASEAN-Australia summit, at which he also expressed his support for raising ASEAN-Australia relations to the level of a comprehensive strategic partnership.

Addressing Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his fellow ASEAN leaders, the Prime Minister said the annual ASEAN-Australia Summit is a testament to the joint commitment to achieve great things, “which can be considered as a turning point in the history of the strategic partnership between the two parties.” The Prime Minister expressed his “high appreciation for Australia's initiatives for the future of ASEAN in addressing the challenges of the three pillars of ASEAN related to the Covid-19 crisis. Cambodia would like to commend Australia for its active contribution to the multilateral campaign to combat Covid-19 and to restore and promote regional economic growth.”

At the same time, he urged Australia to continue to strengthen its support in “priority areas such as digital technology and trade. E-commerce, small and medium enterprises and education and human resource development, especially technical and scientific training for women and migrant workers to return abroad safely to find new jobs and livelihoods”.

Turning to Cambodia’s chairmanship of ASEAN next year, the Prime Minister said the kingdom would like to focus on the link between women, peace and security, believing that this “should be given more attention and strengthened, which is a great step in recognizing the role of women in promoting social welfare and socio-economic development”. He said as chair of ASEAN for 2022, Cambodia would “continue to push for this agenda and request the cooperation and support of Australia”.

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