Cambodia ready to dispatch de-miners to war-torn Ukraine

In phone call with Ukrainian president, Cambodian premier expresses concern over recent Russian attacks on Kyiv, other regions.

Cambodia ready to dispatch de-miners to war-torn Ukraine

Cambodia is ready to dispatch de-miners to war-torn Ukraine, the Southeast Asian nation’s prime minister said.

“Cambodia is ready to dispatch de-miners to help train Ukraine’s de-miners,” Hun Sen told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a phone call on Tuesday evening.

A statement by the Cambodian Foreign Ministry said Sen expressed concern over the recent attacks by the Russian military on the Ukrainian capital Kyiv and other regions, which caused many deaths, injuries, and severe damage to civilian infrastructure, leading to power outages and water shortages.

Recalling how Cambodians had suffered in the past, Sen said: “War cannot be ended by war.”

Cambodia is one of the most mined countries in the world. The Cambodian Mine Action Centre estimates that 2,000 square kilometers (772 square miles) of land is contaminated with a combination of explosive weapons dropped during US aerial bombardments of the country and mines laid in the late 1970s and 1980s, particularly in what is known as the K5 mine belt that borders Thailand and Laos.

However, the Southeast Asian nation has extracted over 72,000 mines since 2018, clearing 66% of its targeted 641 kilometers (398 miles).

The Cambodian premier urged a “comprehensive” solution to end the war in Ukraine so that the country can “regain peace, stability, territorial integrity, and development.”

Earlier, the Southeast Asian nation had co-sponsored a resolution at the UN General Assembly against Russia’s war and annexation of Ukrainian regions.

Zelenskyy also invited Sen to visit Ukraine, the country which the Cambodian premier last visited in 1981.

Appreciating the stance of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on the Russia-Ukraine war, Zelenskyy also requested the Cambodian premier that he would like to video address the upcoming ASEAN summit.

Cambodia is the current chair of the ASEAN and the regional bloc’s summit is expected to be held in the next two weeks.

Ukraine is also mulling over becoming a sectoral dialogue partner of the 10-member Southeast Asian bloc.

Hüseyin Demir

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