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Cambodian PM to arrive in India

India and Cambodia are set to intensify economic, energy and cultural ties when Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen comes to New Delhi on Sunday.
IANS | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 07, 2007 03:51 PM IST

India and Cambodia are set to intensify economic, energy and cultural ties when Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen comes in the Capital on Sunday on a three-day state visit.

Foreign Minister Hor Namhong, Defence Minister Tea Banh and Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh will accompany Hun Sen in his first trip to India after seven years.

Building upon their historical and cultural ties, India and Cambodia, a member of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), are expected to sign a clutch of agreements in areas of energy, defence and culture.

An agreement on cooperation and technical assistance between the National Petroleum Authority of Cambodia and the Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC) of India is likely to be signed in the presence of Hun Sen and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday.

Agreements on prisoner exchange and defence cooperation are also expected to be signed.

India is involved in an array of developmental and human resource training projects in Cambodia like the Cambodia-India Entrepreneurship Development Centre and Museum of Traditional Asian Textiles.

India is a key provider of IT services to Cambodia and Indian companies are teaching Cambodians English at various centres.

Hun Sen also goes to Kolkata before heading back home on Wednesday morning.

In the cultural arena, India has been in the forefront of helping Cambodia in conserving the Angkor Wat temple complex - hailed as a marvel of centuries-old Khmer culture that reveals a distinct imprint of Hindu traditions in the Buddhist nation.

New Delhi has also agreed to work on the conservation and restoration of Ta Prom, another temple complex in the Angkor Park area, at a cost of $5 million.

Hun Sen's visit underscores India's growing ties with ASEAN countries as it continues its diplomatic efforts to expand engagement with this region.

Hun Sen comes to India a day after Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung ended a three-day visit. Thai Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont visited India last month. That was preceded by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee's trip to Singapore and the Philippines.

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