The re-opening of the Royal Embassy of Cambodia in Belgrade will lend a new impetus for advancing practical cooperation in all spheres of common benefit of our two peoples. Nowadays, both sides are working closely on the fields of tourism, investment, cooperation between our two diplomatic academies as well
Cambodia has almost reopened its embassy in Belgrade. It is worth noting that the Royal Government of Cambodia has opened a proper royal embassy in three foreign countries, including Turkey, Serbia and Bulgaria. We talked to Mr.Khieu Rithya Chargé D’affaires Of The Embassy Of The Kingdom Of Cambodia In Serbia, what this means for our relations and what our plans are.
What do our diplomatic relations mean opening the Embassy of the Kingdom of Cambodia in Serbia? In which segments we need to deepen our cooperation?
— Despite the geographical distance and test of time, Cambodia attaches its importance to the traditional ties with Serbia based on shared interests, equality, mutual respect and historical friendship, which was nurtured by the late King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia and the late President Josip Broz Tito of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The Royal Government of Cambodia sincerely thanks the Serbian government for support and intervention in securing Cambodia’s diplomatic property in Belgrade. The re-opening of the Royal Embassy of Cambodia in Belgrade will lend a new impetus for advancing practical cooperation in all spheres of common benefit of our two peoples. Nowadays, both sides are working closely on the fields of tourism, investment, cooperation between our two diplomatic academies as well.
How do you assess the current cooperation between Serbia and Cambodia?
— Cambodia cherishes its longstanding friendship and good cooperation with the Republic of Serbia over the years based on shared interests, mutual respect and non-interference. We note with satisfaction the outcomes of the last two rounds of political bilateral consultation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia in 2017 and 2018, which had identified the courses of new concrete steps to foster across-the-board partnership between the two counties and we expect to have the 3rd the said meeting in Belgrade, the Republic of Serbia later this year.
Serbian President invited Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen to visit Serbia. When is this visit planned?
— We are aware that at the moment both leaders are very busy with their duties. Through diplomatic channels, we are coordinating closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia to seek the most convenient time for both leaders in order to make the visit happens.
You almost had a meeting with the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ivica Dačić. What did you arrange?
— Yes, it was my honor and pleasure to have such a conversation with the First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs His Excellency Ivica Dačić in July 30, 2019. During the talk which was lasted almost one hour, we raised many fields of interests, we touched the topic of the visit of the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affair and International Cooperation of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the Republic of Serbia in the coming period. The Kingdom of Cambodia and the Republic of Serbia always support each other on the international arena. Both countries have struggled to protect our national sovereignty, territorial integrity, peace and stability in our own country as well as in the whole region. The Kingdom of Cambodia remains consistent in its position not recognizing the unilateral declaration of Independence of Kosovo and opposing it in any international organization.
How much did you know about Serbia before coming here?
— I can’t say I know Serbia well. In fact, before coming to Serbia I served as Director of the Department of Europe, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Department of Europe is dealing with all bilateral cooperation between Cambodia and all countries in Europe, especially who has the diplomatic relation with the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Republic of Serbia is one of them. I was surprised to learn that I have been assigned to be here and now I can see how beautiful Belgrade, stable and secure and happy to be here.
What are your plans for working in Serbia?
— Beside the renovation work of the Embassy’s premise, we have set up our temporary office using as the Royal Embassy of Cambodia in Belgrade, meanwhile we open our consular section to issue visas for tourists, who wishes to go to visit Cambodia. We still have a lot of things to do to follow up other pending issues in order to boost the cooperation between our two countries, to unlock some potential fields of cooperation.
It seems to me that Serbian tourists are interested in traveling to Cambodia. What would you recommend them to see? And how much do you think Serbs know about Cambodia?
— Cambodia is located in Southeast Asia, on the Indochinese peninsula. It is bordered in the north-west by Thailand, in the southeast by Vietnam and in the north by Laos. The coastline of about 450 km in the south borders the gulf of Thailand. Cambodia is the “Kingdom of wonder”, we have lots of things to see and visit, we have cultural heritages, monuments such as Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon, Banteay Srey temples and other ancient monuments located in all various provinces of Cambodia, scenic places like beautiful beaches in Sihanouk, Kampot and Kep and Koh Kong provinces, you can see sunrise and sunset on Bakheng mountain, Siem Reap province, waterfall in Mundulkiri and Ratanakiri provinces… I hope they would love and like it. I have been here for a short period of time I met a lot of people, Cambodia is known by most of Serbians and now they are happy that Cambodian representatives are here in Belgrade.