Paris (FN), Jan. 18 – Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet commenced his official visit to France, receiving a warm welcome from French President Emmanuel Macron, speaking during a joint press conference between the two leaders on Thursday (Jan. 18) at the Élysée Palace.

President Macron warmly welcomed Samdech Thipadei and recalled France's role in Cambodia's peace-seeking process and development initiatives. He affirmed a grant of about 200 million euros for vocational training, energy and clean water treatment, commended Cambodia's peacekeeping contributions, and praised its position in the Russia-Ukraine war.

For his part, Samdech Thipadei expressed pleasure at the visit, highlighting France as his first destination in Europe as the newly appointed prime minister. Samdech Thipadei also mentioned the depth of Cambodia-France friendship, recalling France's pivotal role in the Paris Conference on Cambodia leading to the Paris Agreement in 1991.

Samdech Thipadei continued, in a span of just 13 months, three prominent Cambodian leaders have visited France: Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni on November 13, 2023, Samdech Techo Hun Sen on December 14, 2022, and Samdech Thipadei in the current visit. This series of visits underscores the profound friendship between Cambodia and France.

In addition, the premier continued that Cambodia always remembers France's role as the Founder and Co-chair of the Paris Conference on Cambodia, which led to the achievement of the Paris Agreement in 1991, a crucial contribution of France in the socio-economic development recovery. Through the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), Cambodia became a low-middle-income country by 2015 and is on the path to a high-income country by 2050.

"On behalf of the new Royal Government, I would like to reiterate Cambodia's clear position in nurturing and continuing to strengthen the cooperation between Cambodia and France. I hope that through my official visit, we can discuss strengthening and expanding our relations with other countries and review the possibility of elevating cooperation and partnership between our countries," Samdech Thipadei underscored.

At the same time, Premier Hun Manet further highlighted the importance of the private sector in nurturing bilateral relations.

"These days, I also participated in the Cambodia-France Business Forum as well as meeting with many French private sector leaders who are interested in investing in Cambodia and those already operating in the kingdom. I hope the assistance and encouragement of the two governments will encourage the private sector to do more communication and investment between the two countries," the premier added.

On the occasion, Samdech Thipadei concluded by wishing France success in hosting the 2024 Olympics and the Francophonie Summit.