India and Cambodia maintain close civilizational and cultural links

India on Tuesday said that its relations with Cambodia have stood the test of time and that New Delhi is committed to add more substance to friendship with Cambodia through its ‘Act East’ policy.

“We are proud that Cambodia is an important partner of India under India - ASEAN Cooperation Framework, India-CLMV Cooperation and Mekong-Ganga Cooperation,” said Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, Saurabh Kumar.

Addressing the inaugural function of customized training programme for officials of Police Academy of Cambodia, he said India and Cambodia maintain close civilizational and cultural links and that relations between the two countries have stood the test of time.

“Both countries have cordial relations in political, economic and cultural fields. India remains committed to add more substance to our friendship through its ‘Act East’ policy. It looks forward to deeper and wider engagement with Cambodia,” the MEA’s Secretary (East) added.

“It gives me pleasure to state that the year 2022 marks the 70 years of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Cambodia. Also, 2022 is the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN-India Partnership and is being celebrated as ASEAN-India Friendship Year,” he said.

“I am certain that the heightened engagements this year would lead to further intensification of our bilateral relationship,” Kumar mentioned.

He also congratulated Cambodia on assuming the Chairmanship of ASEAN for the year 2022 and conveyed his best wishes for a successful Chairmanship and ASEAN summit scheduled later in this year.

Expressing pleasure to be part of Tuesday’s inaugural function, the MEA official conveyed heartfelt felicitations to all the participants from the Police Academy of Cambodia for attending this e-ITEC training. It is being conducted jointly by two premier institutions of India - Bureau of Police Research & Development (BPR&D) and Central Detective Training Institute.

“BPR&D had also conducted from September to December last year customized courses in counter-terrorism and cyber security for Cambodian police officers,” he informed.

Maintaining that the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) scheme is a flagship programme of Government of India under the aegis of South-South cooperation, Kumar said under this scheme India has been offering capacity building assistance to 161 partner countries for the past 55 years.

“In addition to capacity building, the program is about sharing of India’s experience, expertise and knowledge in its process of nation-building,” he added.

According to the MEA Secretary East, ITEC programme is based on solidarity and mutual respect, voluntary cooperation free from any conditionalities, and national ownership aligned with priorities of partner countries.

“It is demand-driven and response-oriented,” he stated.

“We are happy that nearly 2,200 Cambodian nationals have participated in various courses either in India or through eITEC model and we look forward to the number growing in future,” Kumar said.

Noting that India considers all participants from today onwards as part of its ITEC family and an important link to foster our bilateral relations, he said, "we hope that the learning experience you acquire in this e-ITEC course will hold you in good stead in your future endeavours".

Kumar conveyed his appreciation to all the officials of Bureau of Police Research & Development and Ministry of External Affairs involved with this program and expressed his gratitude to all friends from Cambodian side associated with the program.