National Assembly chief offers tips to new envoys

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National Assembly (NA) president Heng Samrin meets with the 10 newly appointed Cambodian ambassadors on January 25. NA

National Assembly (NA) president Heng Samrin advised 10 newly appointed Cambodian ambassadors to focus on working on behalf of their nation and people while station abroad by improving cooperation and friendly contacts at all levels with their host countries.

Samrin met with the new ambassadors on January 25 to offer advice and wish them good luck before they departed on their diplomatic missions abroad.

The NA said that Samrin emphasised that the new ambassadors have a lot of important work to do regarding foreign policy in the context that the world is changing rapidly and they must remain aware of and adapt to the world order’s new context.

Samrin said in the current circumstances, Cambodia’s rapid socio-economic recovery is an important and necessary factor to grow the national economy.

“Ambassadors from Cambodia must give priority to the national interestd no matter what the circumstances are. They must always protect and promote our national values. Ambassadors must pay attention to helping coordinate and solve the problems of our people effectively and timely through the establishment of a good rapport and relationship with ordinary people,” he said.

He added that from now on the ambassadors are the highest-ranking officials in each country they are assigned to and as such they are representing the Kingdom of Cambodia abroad, giving them an important role to play in promoting relations, friendship and cooperation in all fields with those countries.

They should especially do things that help promote the Kingdom’s national prestige, independence and always protect Cambodia’s national sovereignty, he said.

“You will need to help explain to the national and international institutions and make them clearly understand the nature of the implementation of democracy and respect for human rights in Cambodia in order to prevent biased information that always shows Cambodia in a bad light. Therefore, your role is to show the world the truth about Cambodia and the facts about Cambodia that go beyond the negative news,” Samrin said.

Koy Kuong, newly-minted ambassador to India, replied: “We are committed to upholding the image of Cambodia and to maintain Cambodia’s superiority on the international stage by further developing our diplomacy, both in terms of investment and tourism. We strive to promote Cambodia to the greatest extent possible to help boost economic growth.”

Kin Phea, the director of the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute, stated that the role of the Cambodian ambassador abroad is very important, especially in communications affairs.

The ambassador, while on mission, is the full representative of Cambodia, whether political, economic, social, cultural or attracting investments.

“Another crucial task is the consular work at the embassies. Consular officers must be willing to intervene for the protection of Cambodian people living in that country or to offer them advice. We have seen that most of our ambassadors have worked hard to fulfil their duties and responsibilities to protect our country’s interests,” he said.

He added that it is also important to remember that Cambodian diplomats today are not just expected to fulfil official foreign policy duties. They must also be aggressive promoters of Cambodia to the private sector and others in order to bring foreign investment, tourism and assistance to the Kingdom from abroad.

The 10 newly appointed diplomats are: Koy Kuong (India), Sman Manan (Kuwait), Hun Saroeun (Thailand), Cheunboran Chanborey (Australia), Chea Thirak (Cuba), Pich Khun Panha (Russia), In Dara (Switzerland), Chum Angvichet (Myanmar), Lim Hokseng (Brunei) and Ouk Chandara (Malaysia).