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DPM Prak Sokhonn Discusses ASEAN Reconstruction with ASEAN Secretary-General

PHNOM PENH: The Cambodian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Prak Sokhonn, held a virtual meeting with ASEAN Secretary-General, Dato Lim Jock Hoi on Monday. During the meeting, the two sides discussed key issues such as Accelerating the Comprehensive Rehabilitation of ASEAN (ACRF) and the Operation of the ASEAN Regional Corridor Framework (ATCAF) for Better and Greener Reconstruction of the Region.

Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn and ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi also discussed the selection of the host country to establish the ASEAN Center for Public Health and Emerging Diseases (ACPHEED), which would help to support ASEAN member states address the Covid-19 pandemic and prepare for future health crises, as well as Timor-Leste's candidacy for ASEAN and the ongoing issue of Myanmar.

According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday night, Deputy Prime Minister Prak Sokhonn highlighted his priorities as the ASEAN Special Envoy, including his first visit to Myanmar, to the ASEAN Secretary-General. In response, Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi expressed the readiness of the ASEAN Secretariat to support the Cambodian Foreign Minister in these endeavors, particularly the provision of humanitarian assistance to people who are in need of help.

The press release stated, "His Excellency Deputy Prime Minister Prak Sokhon, in his capacity as Special Envoy of the ASEAN Chair for 2022, highlighted his priorities, including his first visit to Myanmar, and in response, ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi expressed the readiness of the ASEAN Secretariat to support, in particular, the provision of humanitarian assistance to people who really need help."

The two sides also reportedly discussed the important role of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) in the process of building the ASEAN Community, and how in recent years, many countries and organizations have been seeking to become dialogue or development partners with ASEAN.

Both the Secretary-General and the Cambodian Foreign Minister have declared commitment to continue to strengthening the capacity and capabilities of ASEAN to effectively contribute to the development of its partners for mutual benefit between of all parties involved.

Cambodia assumed the rotating Chairmanship of ASEAN on 1 January 2022, after Brunei Darussalam, making it the third time that Cambodia has chaired ASEAN. The ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat will be held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia between 15-17 February. Foreign Ministers from all ASEAN member states have confirmed their participation, with the exception of Myanmar, who has not yet confirmed whether they will be sending a non-political participant.

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