President Barack Obama (L) shakes with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen during the latter's visit to Washington.
17th October, 2011
Xinhua Web Editor: yangyang66
Cambodia is expected to welcome the visit of the incumbent President of the United States for the first time in history next year when the country chairs ASEAN, officials said.
Speaking to reporters after meeting with Cambodia's Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong, minister of foreign affairs, on Monday, visiting Ambassador of the United States to ASEAN David Carden said the U.S. congratulated Cambodia for hosting the ASEAN next year and said the U.S. was ready to assist Cambodia to chair the ASEAN successfully.
"The U.S. fully supports ASEAN to establish an ASEAN community by 2015," he said. "Our president will be given the opportunity to attend the ASEAN-U.S. Summit and related meetinghahas here next year."
Koy Kuong, the spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the ASEAN-U.S. Summit will be held in late November, 2012 in Phnom Penh, and the U.S. presidential election will be held in early November 2012, so, probably, the incumbent U.S. President Barack Obama will take part in the summit as the new elected U.S. President in the next year's election will take office in December.
During the meeting, Hor Namhong asked the U.S. to accelerate its assistance to Lower Mekong countries including Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos under the framework of the Lower Mekong- U.S. cooperation on the sectors of environment, education, health and infrastructure.
"The U.S. plays a key role to help the four lower Mekong countries to develop connectivity. It is a part of ASEAN connectivity, " he said.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
David Carden arrived here on Sunday for a four-day visit. During the stay, he will meet Cambodia's ministers of education, environment, and commerce, and also pay a courtesy call on the Prime Minister Hun Sen.