Indonesian Embassy holds roundtable discussion on ties

Indonesian Embassy holds roundtable discussion on ties

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Indonesian Ambassador Santo Darmosumarto (in batik shirt) speaks at the roundtable dialogue on the 65-year relationship between Indonesia and Cambodia at the Indonesian Embassy on February 12.

The Embassy of Indonesia held the “Roundtable Dialogue on 65 Years of Indonesia-Cambodia Relations”, which was attended by 20 officials, researchers and scholars from both countries on Monday.

Indonesia’s Ambassador Santo Darmosumarto said during his opening remarks at the dialogue at the Embassy of Indonesia that the meeting aimed “to draw ideas from an academic discussion involving prominent scholars and propose strategies to further enhance bilateral relations for 65 years to come”.

The dialogue was attended by officials, researchers, and scholars including Senior Minister Sok Siphana, Ambassador Pou Sothirak of the Cambodian Centre for Regional Studies, Vora Huy Kanthoul of the Cambodian Institute for Peace and Cooperation, and Mey Kalyan of the Cambodian Development and Resource Institute.

Also attending was Prof Tirta Nugraha Mursitama and Ardhitya Yeremia from the University of Bina Nusantara and the University of Indonesia respectively, who travelled from Jakarta to join the occasion.

Among the issues discussed in the dialogue were the deep historical ties connecting Indonesia and Cambodia, the various areas for cooperation in the fields of trade, investment, tourism, and infrastructure, as well as the potential for partnerships in addressing regional and global issues. The participants highlighted the importance of further strengthening ASEAN community building through programmes and activities that directly benefit the people.

Ambassador Darmosumarto stated that Indonesia does not want to be regarded only for its role in Cambodia in the past but also as a close partner in assisting one another to advance our developing economies.

The dialogue suggested that efforts must be carried out to implement the governments’ commitment over the years and empower the young generation to shape the future of our bilateral relations.

The dialogue kicked off a series of events that would take place in 2024 to commemorate the 65th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Indonesia and Cambodia.

King Father Norodom Sihanouk and Indonesian Prime Minister Djuanda Kartawidjaja signed the Treaty of Friendship that marked the beginning of these ties on February 13, 1959.

Last year, Indonesia jumped up to become Cambodia’s No. 6 trading partner, with total bilateral trade amounting to around $1.1 billion. Indonesia’s successful Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2023 built on the various achievements made by Cambodia during its own Chairmanship of ASEAN the previous year.

In 1956, Indonesia recognised Cambodia as a sovereign nation, and the following year, both nations established diplomatic relations. The two countries were a part of the Jakarta Informal Meetings, which led to the Paris Peace Conference, and there is also Indonesia’s presence in the massive United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) peacekeeping mission in the early 1990s. Indonesia was also among the first to support Cambodia’s membership in ASEAN.

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