JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia and Cambodia signed a free visa agreement in Phnom Penh during Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa’s visit to that country on June 1-2. Marty Natalegawa and his Cambodian counterpart Hor Namhong at the agreement’s signing hoped the facility would improve not only the two countries’ relations but also individual relations between the two nations as well as interactions between the two countries’ businessmen, according to the foreign ministry here on Thursday.
Based on the agreement the two countries’ citizens could visit to each other’s countries without visa for maximally 30 days. The two ministers also agreed to push for immediate opening of direct flight service between the two countries.
They hoped the opening of the direct flight would improve connectivity in the region with regard to realizing the ASEAN Community in 2015. One of Indonesian private airlines is expected to be able to conduct a maiden flight soon.
During the meeting Minister Hor Namhong expressed his appreciation to Indonesia that has consistently helped Cambodia especially in capacity building. He also expressed his appreciation to the training of Cambodian prime minister’s security guards by the Indonesian presidential security guard unit.
He also appreciated Indonesia’s participation in the conservation efforts for the Angkor complex, which is a world heritage and the pride of Cambodia. The Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Borobudur Temple in Indonesia are potentials that must be continued to be developed in the framework of increasing cooperation in the preservation of cultural heritages and tourism, he said.
Minister Hor Namhong also hoped for increasing economic cooperation between the two countries while referring to Cambodia’s potentials which could be jointly exploited by the two countries. One of the sectors the Cambodian minister is eyeing for cooperation is agriculture. Cambodian has always had a surplus in rice production in the past few years.
In the meeting the Indonesian foreign minister also expressed his commitment to increase the two countries’ bilateral relations and reaffirmed Indonesia’s continued committment to help Cambodia especially in the field of human resources development. Marty also said Indonesia was very interested to develop wider economic cooperation with Cambodia and pledged in the next visit he would bring businessmen to explore potentials for economic cooperation.
Minister Marty while in Cambodia for an introductory visit had also paid a courtesy call on Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen and received a honorary degree from University of Cambodia.