Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni will be on his maiden state visit to India from May 29 to 31 and his trip would mark the culmination of the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between India and Cambodia, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Friday.
At a media briefing, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Secretary (East), Saurabh Kumar, said the Cambodian King would be accompanied by a 27-member high-level delegation, including the Minister of the Royal Palace, Vice President of the Vietnamese senate, Minister of Foreign Affairs and other senior officials.
The state visit marks the culmination of the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between India and Cambodia, which were established in 1952, the MEA said in a statement. The forthcoming visit of King Sihamoni will further strengthen and deepen the civilisational relations between India and Cambodia, it said.
This visit by the King of Cambodia is taking place after almost six decades, with the last being that of the current King’s father in 1963. The King will be accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on May 30 and President Droupadi Murmu will host a state banquet in the honour of the visiting dignitary the same evening. The King will also have bilateral meetings with the President and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will call on the Cambodian King. The King will also pay floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Raj Ghat, the MEA said.
India and Cambodia enjoy warm and friendly relations marked by civilisational, cultural and economic linkages and deep-rooted people-to-people ties, it said. The multi-faceted relationship is based on shared cultural values, commitment to foster economic growth, collaboration in the fields of defence and security and convergence on regional and global issues, the statement said.
India actively assists Cambodia in capacity building and human resource development through training slots under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme and scholarships under the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. India has also extended grants and concessional loans for developmental projects.
Conservation and restoration of the ancient temples of Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm and Preah Vihar are also being carried out under the Indian government funding.
India has extended a grant of $1.5 million for the purchase of de-mining equipment and offered a line of credit worth $50 million for the procurement of defence equipment from it, the MEA said.
Trade between the two countries for the financial year 2023-23 stood at $366 million and is growing. Indian investments in Cambodia are estimated at around $115 million primarily in pharmaceuticals, automobiles and mining.