Hun Sen to Meet Laos, Vietnam Prime Ministers

Prime Minister Hun Sen will leave for Vientiane on Tuesday for a four-day trip to meet with his counterparts from Laos and Vietnam.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Hor Namhong described the gathering as an unofficial meeting between the three prime ministers to exchange ideas on problems in the three countries. The meeting was proposed by Laos.

Hor Namhong said Friday that the three officials will also discuss a proposal by Vietnam to develop a west-east corridor in Asean.

The purpose of the corridor would be to develop the economic and social structure of poor areas in the region, including northeast Cam­bo­dia, southern Laos and northwest Vietnam.

Some diplomats from Asean countries recently have privately expressed concern about the meeting, worrying it may be a move on the part of the former Indochina countries to form a block vote in Asean.

But Hor Namhong said issues relating to Asean would not be discussed. “This is not the purpose at all,” Hor Namhong said.

Although Hor Namhong said he has read media reports of infighting within Asean, the foreign minister said the 10-member regional group is committed to unity and strengthening integration.

“Of course when you have 10, you have more opinions,” Hor Nam Hong said. “But everyone in Asean is committed to unity.”

Cambodia became a member of Asean in April after its induction was delayed following the factional fighting in July 1997.  More than 20 people will be in the delegation including Hor Namhong, Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh, Minister of Tourism Veng Sereyvuth and Minister of Industry, Mines and Energy Suy Sem.


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