Cambodian PM plans Doha visit

September 25, 2008 at 6:49 am Leave a comment

The Gulf Times – September 23, 2008

By Arvind Nair

CAMBODIAN Prime Minister Hun Sen is expected to pay a state visit to Qatar next January as part of efforts to strengthen bilateral relations, reports said.

Hun Sen is also scheduled to stop by Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

The visit is part of a new government strategy that aims to make Cambodia a target destination for more Middle Eastern travellers.

The move comes amid efforts by Hun Sen to strengthen ties between Cambodia and the Gulf nations.

Cambodia last month signed a direct-flight agreement with Qatar. Cambodia’s Minister of Tourism Thong Khon was quoted as saying that a similar agreement with Kuwait was expected soon.

In April, Qatari Prime Minister HE Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani announced a $200mn investment in Cambodia’s agriculture sector, while Kuwait last month pledged $546mn in soft loans to upgrade irrigation systems and roads throughout the country.

Cambodia has more than 300,000 ethnic Muslim Cham residents. Cham communities are currently marketed to Muslim tourists, Cambodia Association of Travel Agents has said.

“Cambodia has a Muslim Centre and other sites of interest, and several restaurants serve halal food,” the sources said.

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