King Recalls Historic Friendship with India

Cambodia's King Norodom Sihamoni (L), Indian President Droupadi Murmu (C) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pose for a photograph during a ceremonial reception at the Indian President House in New Delhi on May 30, 2023. Photo by Money SHARMA / AFP

PHNOM PENH – King Norodom Sihamoni, on a state visit to New Delhi, has recalled the special affinity between the late King Sihanouk and India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

The King had an audience on May 31 with President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He also paid floral tributes to independence leader Mahatma Gandhi.

The trip, marking 70 years of diplomatic relations, is the first by a Cambodian monarch in six decades.

It is seen as strengthening diplomatic relations and a chance for Cambodia to find political allies in the emerging power of India.

The King said the affinity between the former leaders had built a solid foundation for friendship and cooperation between nations with a shared historic, religious, cultural and linguistic heritage.

He recalled with gratitude India’s support for Cambodia after it was liberated from the Pol Pot regime and for sending peacekeepers at the time of the UN Transitional Authority.

Both sides said they were confident that their solid relationship would lead to deeper cooperation in areas of common interest.

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