Singapore, Cambodia reaffirm ties as Vivian Balakrishnan reiterates concern over Myanmar situation
SINGAPORE: Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan called on Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday (Feb 16) as they reaffirmed the "warm and longstanding ties" between the two nations.
During the meeting, Dr Balakrishnan also said that Singapore remained "deeply concerned" about the situation in Myanmar, according to a press statement by Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).
Dr Balakrishnan is in Cambodia for the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat - the first in a series of meetings that Cambodia will be hosting as chair of ASEAN in 2022.
During his meeting with Mr Hun Sen, Dr Balakrishnan congratulated him on Cambodia’s "successful management" of the COVID-19 pandemic in the past two years and reaffirmed Singapore’s support for Cambodia’s ASEAN chairmanship, MFA said.
Both of them also committed to further strengthening of bilateral cooperation as both countries work towards a post-COVID-19 recovery.
"Prime Minister Hun Sen and Minister Balakrishnan had a wide-ranging discussion on developments in the region. They hoped to see further progress on the negotiations on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea," said MFA.
"They also agreed it was important to foster more trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region. Prime Minister Hun Sen looked forward to the early resumption of safe travel in the region and the ASEAN arrangements to support that."
Dr Balakrishnan has also met Minister of Environment Say Samal, Chairman of the National Assembly Commission on Education, Youth, Sports, Religion, Culture and Tourism Hun Many and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn during his trip so far.
Dr Balakrishnan also reiterated Singapore's concern about the situation in Myanmar and that the lack of progress in the implementation of the Five-Point Consensus since its adoption by ASEAN leaders and Myanmar military chief Min Aung Hlaing was disappointing, MFA said.
Prime Minister Hun Sen and Dr Balakrishnan both agreed that the current arrangements for Myanmar to be represented at the non-political level at ASEAN meetings should continue.
They emphasised the need for the Myanmar military authorities to swiftly and fully implement the Five-Point Consensus and if there is significant progress on this, ASEAN will review the arrangements, MFA said.
Dr Balakrishnan also reiterated Singapore’s support for the appointment of the Special Envoy of the ASEAN Chair on Myanmar and for him to meet with all parties concerned.
Prime Minister Hun Sen and Dr Balakrishnan also agreed that ASEAN’s full agenda should not be held hostage by the situation in Myanmar, said MFA.