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PM says ready to speak with embattled Ukraine president

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A combination photo of Prime Minister Hun Sen and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. PHOTO SUPPLIED

PM says ready to speak with embattled Ukraine president

Prime Minister Hun Sen said he would speak with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the next few days, provided circumstances did not change.

He mentioned the phone conference in an October 27 social media post, after he had completed his rice seed distribution mission to farmers in four flood-afflicted provinces.

“We have completed the first stage of our mission to assist flood victims. Upon arriving home, there were a lot of documents waiting for me to inspect and sign,” he wrote.

The premier said Cambodia is set to host the ASEAN Summit next month and that the G20 heads of state will attend a summit in Indonesia, with the APEC summit to be held in Thailand.

“If there is no change and with diplomatic coordination, I will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy by phone in the next few days. I wish you all well,” Hun Sen said.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Chum Sounry could not be reached for comment on October 27.

Earlier this month, Hun Sen announced that Cambodia would not support a Russian referendum to annex Ukrainian regions.

“We do not support – and in fact oppose – the creation of a new state by taking land from a sovereign nation via the use or threat of force,” he said.

In March, Cambodia voted for a UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution demanding an abrupt stop to Russia’s “military operations” in Ukraine.

Royal Academy of Cambodia secretary-general Yang Peou said the meeting between the two leaders is important as Cambodia has announced its opposition to the Russian aggression against Ukraine.

​The Kingdom has adopted a policy of permanent neutrality, he said, adding that joining to seek a solution to find peace is necessary for all counties in the world and it is important that Cambodia be a part of it.

“Cambodia is hosting the ASEAN Summit and related meetings [in November], and Ukrainian President Zelenskyy may attend [virtually].

“As head of the Cambodian government and chair of ASEAN, Prime Minister Hun Sen will join some of the largest meetings of regional and global organisations aside from hosting the ASEAN Summit. They include ASEAN Plus as well as the APEC and G20 summits.

“Cambodia currently has a voice which represents many other groups, and will use that voice in numerous meetings,” he said.

Peou continued that Cambodia should use diplomatic tone and contribute to addressing global politics.

Advance discussions such as the upcoming phone call with the embattled Ukrainian leader are important, he said, adding that while the call may not achieve an immediate end to the war, it will make a significant contribution to the diplomatic relationship between Cambodia and Ukraine.

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