Hun Sen, Australia’s Tony Abbott to Meet This Week

Prime Minister Hun Sen will meet privately with his Australian counterpart, Tony Abbott, and other world leaders on the sidelines of a series of regional summits later this week in Burma, Cambodia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry announced over the weekend.

In a statement Saturday, the ministry said Mr. Hun Sen will pay a two-day visit to Burma starting Wednesday for a series of Asean-related summits and have private meetings with Mr. Abbott, along with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

The statement does not say what the leaders intend to discuss and officials at the ministry either could not be reached or declined to comment.

But the prime minister’s planned meeting with Mr. Abbott comes amid efforts by the two countries to implement a controversial refugee resettlement deal they signed in September.

After months of negotiations, Cambodia agreed to resettle an unspecified number of refugees Australia is currently holding offshore in return for an additional $35 million in aid over the next four years.

Despite vocal opposition to the deal in both countries, Cambodian officials have said the first refugees could arrive by the end of the year.

peter@cambodiadaily.com

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