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Jakarta Post

Laos, Cambodia look to maintain good historical relationship

  • Somxay Sengdara

    Vientiane Times/ANN

  /   Thu, June 9, 2016   /  10:56 am
Laos, Cambodia look to maintain good historical relationship A tourist visits the Haw Pha Bang temple in the grounds of the Palace Museum in Luang Prabang, Laos, Sept. 8, 2014. (AP/Mark Baker)

Sharing the same state religion, a docile way of living, and geographical links have all helped in maintaining a good relationship between Laos and Cambodia throughout their modern histories.

A Cambodian diplomat and cultural expert commented as such when delivering a lecture in Vientiane on Tuesday ahead of marking the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries on June 15.

In his opening remark Cambodian Ambassador to Laos Hos Sereythonh reminded everyone of the historical relations between the two nations in the era of King Fa Ngum, who grew up in a Khmer king's custody eventually becoming a son-in-law who united the region through the introduction of Buddhism and the creation of the kingdom of Lane Xang.

The Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Institute of Foreign Affairs, Asia-Pacific and Africa Department, and the Cambodian Embassy in Laos jointly organized the lecture, with the Vice President of the Royal Academy of Cambodia and Director General of the International Institute of Cambodia, Sok Touch invited to deliver a lecture entitled: “Sixty Years of Cambodian-Lao Diplomatic Relations: Achievements and Ways Forward”.

Sok said, “Even though 1956 was regarded as the beginning of diplomatic relations between the two countries, the relations between our nations and people have started nearly a thousand year ago”.

“These relations are based in the legacy of our ancestors and previous leaders of our two nations”, he added.

Sok also pointed to Buddhism, which the two countries share as a state religion, as a long-standing cultural bond.

“The same traditions attached to the compassion and peaceful minded consciousness taught through Buddhism make the people of our two nations eternally brothers and sisters”, he said.

He shared his fascination with Buddhism in Laos suggesting that he wouldn't mind being ordained after he finished his diplomatic mission in Laos.

He also spoke to the years of Democratic Kampuchea rule in the late 1970s when the relations between the two countries were deteriorating, having been restored to close relations after the collapse of Khmer Rouge on Jan. 7, 1979.

Sok noted the two countries have also shared similar difficulties like the economic embargos by some of the world's super-powers during the Cold War.

He highlighted the bilateral relations between the two nations, which he said had been strengthened and expanded steadily in the recent years through exchange of frequent state visits between top leaders of Cambodia and Laos.

He remarked on both countries political cooperation, saying they supported each other both materially and spiritually and at regional and global levels.

He ended by saying Cambodia was highly appreciative of Laos' important contributions to their peace process over the past decade, while Laos was also appreciative of Cambodia's contribution to its national re-construction and defense, as leaders of both governments have also frequently mentioned.

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