Sokhonn: Singapore backs Cambodia's move over Myanmar crisis

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn discussed the issue with his Singaporean counterpart Vivian Balakrishnan on the afternoon of January 13, in what he called a "frank and constructive phone call". PRAK SOKHONN VIA FACEBOOK

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn said Singapore supported Cambodia’s efforts in implementing the ASEAN’s five-point consensus regarding the ongoing crisis in Myanmar.

Sokhonn discussed the issue with his Singaporean counterpart Vivian Balakrishnan on the afternoon of January 13, in what he called a "frank and constructive phone call".

“We both regret that the AMM Retreat in Siem Reap had to be rescheduled,” he said in a Facebook post, referring to the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM) scheduled for January 18-19 in Siem Reap town which has since been postponed.

“I appreciate his support for Cambodia’s efforts in engaging all relevant stakeholders in order to fully and timely implement the five-point consensus.

“We continue to be supportive and contributory in any way we can to help Myanmar restore normalcy soon,” Sokhonn said.

Prime Minister Hun Sen visited Myanmar on January 7-8, a visit he said many observers and foreign diplomats including UN special envoy on Myanmar Noeleen Heyzer supported and regarded as a good initiative.

However, Malaysian foreign minister Saifuddin Abdullah reportedly criticised the visit, saying Hun Sen should have consulted with other ASEAN member states to avoid an impression that it was an act of recognising the regime currently in power.

Both Hun Sen and Sokhonn, who has been appointed as ASEAN special envoy on Myanmar, said last week that the visit was not meant to recognise the regime but to continue diplomatic ties with Myanmar like 40 other countries that still have their embassies there.

Foreign ministry spokesman Koy Kuong told reporters briefly on January 14 that Cambodia had already clarified its position on the visit.

“The expression of different opinions on this issue is just the rights of individuals,” he said.