Excellency Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to express my sincere thanks to His Excellency Prime Minister and the Government of India for the cordial hospitality accorded to me and members of the Cambodian delegation, and for hosting this sumptuous dinner tonight. I am indeed very happy to visit India for the seventh time, since 1981. I do believe that my visit to India this time will open a new and significant page in the relations of traditional friendship and close cooperation between our two countries.
This afternoon, His Excellency Prime Minister and I discussed and exchanged views on bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues in a very cordial atmosphere and extensive mutual understanding. My visit here has resulted in the signing of a number of documents, which will strengthen and expand the scope of our cooperation to other new fields in addition to the areas that we have already worked in collaboration, such agriculture, information technology and conservation of ancient monuments.
Moreover, the Government of India has offered consessional loans to the Royal Government of Cambodia for the implementation of projects to develop the economy of Cambodia.
I firmly hope that through the documents signed during this visit and the loan that has been kindly offered, the future cooperation between our countries will be more dynamic and deepened in all spheres, thus, bringing about mutual benefits to both our countries and peoples.
Availing myself of this special occasion, I wish to express my profound gratitude to the government of India for its constant support for Cambodia politically, materially as well as financially. I am pleased to recall that India extended its recognition and support to the Cambodian government in 1981, at a time when our country was in the most difficult situation after its liberation from the genocidal regime of the Khmer Rouge, and was facing an embargo imposed by a number of countries.
Furthermore, India has made active contribution in the search for peace and stability for Cambodia, by sending its peace keepers under the framework of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC). In addition to that, India has contributed to the development of Cambodia’s socio-economy though its assistance, including in the area of human resource development, and has provided support for the restoration and conservation of Angkor Wat and Ta Phrum Temples, which are the priceless treasures of humanity.
I wish to also thank India for its initiative in the year 2000 to establish a cooperation framework between India and the riparian countries of the Mekong River, called Mekong-Ganga Cooperation.
India and Cambodia have also had close collaboration under the framework of international and regional organizations, such as in the United Nations, ASEAN and ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) etc. Cambodia places great importance to the ASEAN-India dialogue relation, which is a relevant mechanism for promoting political, security and economic cooperation between the Southeast Asian region and India. As a member of ASEAN, Cambodia highly values Indian’s participation in the Initiative for ASEAN Integration by providing its contribution to support the implementation of projects, such as the establishment of an Entrepreneurship Development Center and the Center for English Language Training in Cambodia. At the same time, India has expressed its desire to offer concessional loans to ASEAN, particularly to the least developed members of ASEAN.
As a friend of India, Cambodia is extremely pleased to witness the remarkable progress in India’s socio-economic development, which has made India the forth largest economic power of the world.
Once again, I am quite confident that the excellent ties of friendship and active cooperation between Cambodia and India will be further reinforced and widened. On this happy occasion, may I invite Excellency Prime Minister, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen to join me in a toast:
- to the good health of Her Excellency Pratibha Patil, President of the Republic of India, and His ExcellencyDevisingh Shekhawat.
- to the good health of His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Boromneath Norodom Sihamoni, King of Cambodia,
- to the good health of His Excellency Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of the Republic of India and Madam,
- to greater happiness and prosperity of the fraternal people of India,
- to the bonds of close friendship and active cooperation between the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Republic of India, and
- to the good health of Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen here present.