Monday, June 21, 2010

Cambodian Former King Leaves for Vietnam for Visit

From Xinhua

Cambodian King Father Norodom Sihanouk left on Tuesday to pay a four-day friendship visit to Hanoi at the invitation of the Vietnamese president.

Sihanouk was accompanied by his wife and son King Norodom Sihamoni. They were seen off at the Phnom Penh International Airport by Prime Minister Hun Sen, the National Assembly President Heng Samrin and the Senate President Chea Sim and other government officials and royal family members.

King Father Norodom Sihanouk will not address political issues during his visit to Hanoi, according to Prince Sisowath Thomico, adviser to the former King on Monday. "I think that the visit will be aimed to boost good relations between the governments of Cambodia and Vietnam and between the peoples of the two countries, " he said at a press conference.

"Being retired and no longer doing politics nor diplomacy, my trip to the glorious Socialist Republic of Vietnam will have a strictly private character," the former King said in a statement dated June 14.

The former king made his first visit to Vietnam in 1995 in his capacity as a king of Cambodia. Sihanouk abdicated in October 2004 and was succeeded by his son King Norodom Sihamoni.

During King's absence, the Senate President Chea Sim will be acting as the head of state in accordance with the Kingdom's constitution.

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