King Norodom Sihamoni modi murmu
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia greet each other as President Droupadi Murmu looks on during his ceremonial welcome at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Tuesday, May 30, 2023. Image Credit: ANI

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Tuesday called on Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni and said the visit reaffirms the strong civilisational bond between the two countries.

He said the age-old bond between the two countries is expressed in cooperation across several sectors including heritage conservation, demining, water conservation and socio-economic projects.

“Honoured to call on King HM Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia. His visit, as our two countries celebrate 70th anniversary of our diplomatic relations, reaffirms the strong civilizational bond between us. Today that is expressed in cooperation in heritage conservation, demining, water conservation and socio-economic projects,” Jaishankar said in a tweet.

Earlier in the day, the Cambodian King was greeted by President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a ceremonial welcome in the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The Cambodian King also visited Raj Ghat to pay tributes to Mahatma Gandhi.

He will hold bilateral meetings with President Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit.

Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni’s visit to India marks the culmination of the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two nations.

This visit is taking place after almost six decades, with the last being that of the current King’s father in 1963.

Ministry of External Affairs said in a release that India and Cambodia enjoy “warm and friendly nations” marked by “civilisational, cultural and economic linkages and deep-rooted people-to-people ties”.

The ties between the two nations are 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, it said.

India actively assists Cambodia in capacity building and human resource development through training slots under the ITEC and scholarships under ICCR. 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 being carried out under GoI funding.

Trade between India and Cambodia for FY 2023-23 stood at USD 366 million and is growing. Indian investments in Cambodia are estimated at around USD 115 million, particularly in pharmaceuticals, automobiles and mining.

India has extended a grant of USD 1.5 million for the purchase of demining equipment and has offered a line of credit worth USD 50 million Line of Credit for the procurement of defence equipment from India. Customised training courses are being carried out for Cambodian Army Personnel in India and Mobile training teams from Indian Army have been deployed to Cambodia for training Cambodian Army personnel.

The Cambodian King is on his maiden state visit from May 29 to 31.