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Cambodian PM cuts short his India tour, returns home

Official mourning for former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar caused visiting Samdech Hun Sen to cut short his India tour, reports Nilova Roy Chaudhury.
Hindustan Times | By Nilova Roy Chaudhury, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 10, 2007 02:36 AM IST

Official mourning for former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar, who died on Sunday, caused visiting Cambodian Prime Minister, Samdech Hun Sen, to cut short his India tour and return home early on Monday.

Hun Sen, who arrived in Delhi on Sunday on a three-day visit along with several senior ministerial colleagues, was scheduled to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday and sign several agreements in areas ranging from energy to defence and trade.

The External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee met with the visiting Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong, and offered to continue with all meetings except the ceremonial ones, like the official banquet, because the Indian government’s protocol guidelines do not permit ceremonial functions during state mourning.

According to the spokesman for the Ministry of External Affairs, Navtej Sarna, the Cambodians said "it would not be proper on their part to continue with the visit," as the major meetings were scheduled for Monday, the day of the former PM’s funeral.

Hun Sen, who was visiting India after seven years, left for Phnom Penh on Monday morning, along with the high-powered delegation, and will return 'soon," Sarna said, after fresh dates are worked out.

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