Rahul, Manmohan call on visiting Cambodian PM Hun Sen

New Delhi: Congress President Rahul Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday called on visitng Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and discussed issues of bilateral interest.

They were accompanied by Anand Sharma, a former Union Minister for Commerce and Industry.

“It was a very good meeting as India and Cambodia share a special relation which is rooted in history,” Sharma told the media after the meeting.

He said India was the first country to recognise Cambodia’s independence in 1953 and independent India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was the first international leader to visit that country in 1954.

“That is one thing which is fondly remebered and recalled, which PM Hun Sen preferred to do even today during his meeting with Gandhi and Singh,” Sharma said.

Hun Sen arrived here on Wednesday to participate in the Commemorative Summit to mark 25 years of the India-Association of Southeast Nations (Asean) Dialogue Partnership and was among all 10 Heads of State or government of Asean nations who were guests of honour at this year’s India’s Republic Day celebrations.

Hun Sen extended his visit to that of a State visit on Saturday.

“He (Hun Sen) also specifically referred to the role of (then Indian Prime Minister) Indira Gandhi when she returned to power in 1980 to recognise the regime change in Cambodia and to assist in the restoration of peace and rehabilitation there,” Sharma said.

The Congress leader said that Hun Sen particularly spoke to the Congress President about his very close friendship with his father (then Prime Minister) Rajiv Gandhi.

“… and also the family friendship he and his wife had with Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi,” he said.

“It was a free and frank exchange of views where the need to reinforce party linkages was stressed,” he added.