Prime Minister Hun Sen boarded a plane Wednesday to France, where he will have a medical checkup, officials said.
“The trip is a private visit for his personal health,” government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said. “Right now, we don’t know what disease he has but after the medical check, we will find out,” he said. He did not know whether Hun Sen’s illness is serious.
The premier’s adviser Om Yentieng also confirmed the premier left for France late Wednesday afternoon. He declined to elaborate. Officials did say when Hun Sen will return.
Earlier in the day, Hor Namhong, a deputy prime minister and the minister of foreign affairs, said Hun Sen is scheduled to meet King Norodom Sihanouk in Beijing later this month.
In recent weeks, Hun Sen and King Sihanouk have quibbled publicly over the King’s threats to abdicate. But, Hor Namhong said: “If the King stays in Beijing, it is inevitable that Samdech [Hun Sen] will visit him.”
During his trip to Beijing, which is scheduled for between seven and 10 days, Hun Sen will also meet with Chinese leaders to discuss the implementation of a 25-point bilateral agreement on trade and development signed earlier this year, Hor Namhong said.
(Additional reporting by Yun Samean)