Duterte thanks Cambodia for hospitality

Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 15 2016 10:05 AM

President Rodrigo Duterte leaves after paying respects to a statue of the late king Norodom Sihanouk in Phnom Penh, Cambodia Wednesdyay. Samrang Pring, Reuters

PHNOM PEHN - President Duterte thanked Cambodia for the hospitality given to him during his state visit as King Norodom Sihamoni hosted a royal banquet for him.

During the toast, the President recalled the visit to the Philippines of kings Norodom in 1872 and Norodom Sihanouk on three occasions.

"Truly, I am humbled and honored your majesty. This is a… reaffirmation of a long standing friendship that augurs well for our bilateral relations," Duterte said.

Duterte spoke of a "broader collaboration" between the two countries as both sides vowed to cooperate in fields like agriculture, tourism and labor migration. Four agreements were signed during his visit for cooperation to fight transnational crime, cooperation in labor, tourism, and sports.
"Ours is friendship based on mutual respect and support...It is a friendship that can withstand the challenges of an evolving regional and international environment," he said.

Duterte cited the two countries' "common stake" in keeping the ASEAN relevant. The Philippines is serving as ASEAN chair in 2017, the same year that the Philippines and Cambodia are marking the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

"As close neighbors, we have a common stake in keeping ASEAN strong relevant and responsive. This is especially critical at this time when forces are shaping the regional architecture in East Asia," Duterte said.

On the last day of his visit, Duterte also met with Philippine-Cambodia business owners and country managers. Some Filipino firms have a presence in Cambodia such as retail store Penshoppe.

He also met with King Meng, president of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce.