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King Sihamoni to visit India May 29-31

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King Norodom Sihamoni's May 29-31 visit marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Cambodia and India. ROYAL DU CAMBODGE

King Sihamoni to visit India May 29-31

King Norodom Sihamoni is due to pay a three-day state visit to India from May 29-31, as the two nations commemorate their 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

In a May 26 press release, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said the King will hold royal audiences with Indian President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during which bilateral and multilateral cooperation will be discussed.

“The King will also grant separate royal audiences to Indian Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar and foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar,” it said.

“The King will lay a wreath at the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi, and President Murmu will host a State Banquet in honour of His Majesty,” it added.

The release said the visit will mark a significant milestone in the two countries' enduring relations and contribute to further deepening their bonds of friendship and close cooperation, which are deeply rooted in their shared historical, religious and cultural heritage, for the mutual benefit of the two peoples.

Indian daily The Statesman quoted Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) secretary Saurabh Kumar as saying that the two countries' relations have their roots in Hindu and Buddhist cultural influences originating from India.

"These historical links continue to provide a strong foundation for our contemporary ties. India established diplomatic relations with Cambodia in 1952,” said Kumar at a May 26 media briefing.

“Conservation and restoration of ancient temples in Cambodia by India would be an important part of the conversation [during King Sihamoni's visit]," he added.

The first visit by the president of India to Cambodia was that of Rajendra Prasad in 1959, followed decades later by Shimati Pratiba Patil's in 2010.

The first state visit to India by the Cambodian monarch was in 1963, according to the MEA.


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