Kuleba, Hun Sen meet ahead of expected peace pact signing, ASEAN summit

Bangkok, Nov 9 (EFE).- Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba met Wednesday with Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen in Phnom Penh, where he is expected to sign up to a regional peace pact in the context of the weekend’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.

Kuleba, who arrived in the capital Tuesday night, spoke Wednesday morning with the Cambodian leader.

“I began my visit to Cambodia with being received by (…) Prime Minister Hun Sen to build on their dialogue with President Zelenskyy. We focused on bilateral cooperation and global food security,” Kuleba wrote on Twitter alongside a photo of the pair.

Together with his Cambodian counterpart, Prak Sokhonn, Kuleba is expected to sign the accession instrument to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) under the summit, which runs Friday to Sunday.

The TAC is a peace treaty established in 1976 by the founding members of ASEAN and later opened to include states outside Southeast Asia.

It “embodies universal principles of peaceful coexistence and friendly cooperation among States in Southeast Asia. It is a legally-binding code for inter-state relations in the region and beyond,” according to ASEAN.

Currently, 49 countries have signed the pact, including the United States, the European Union, China and Russia.

During the summit, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to deliver a speech via video conference. He was invited earlier this month by Hun Sen during a phone call.

In that conversation, Hun Sen advocated for peaceful negotiation to resolve the war in Ukraine and opposed the use of force for the secession or annexation of territories against the integrity and sovereignty of a country, although the statement issued by the foreign ministry did not mention Russia.

Hun Sen also offered demining assistance to Ukraine and Zelenskyy agreed on his proposal to each appoint an ambassador to the other’s country.

Moscow, with whom Cambodia maintains strong diplomatic ties as a result of Russian investment in the kingdom, is expected to be represented at the meeting by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Founded in 1967, ASEAN is made up of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar, although the latter will not send a representative as a result of the political crisis resulting from the coup d’état in February 2021. EFE


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