President Patil receives traditional welcome in Cambodian capital

Phnom Penh, Sep 14 (ANI): Visiting Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil was today accorded a traditional welcome by Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni at the Silver Pagoda Royal Palace here.

School children lined up on either side of the street leading to the palace to welcome President Patil.

After the ceremonial welcome, President Patil had a one-to-one meeting with the Cambodian King in which ways to strengthen the bilateral relationship were discussed.

President Patil then visited the Independence Monument in Phnom Penh and paid tribute.

In the evening, President Patil will meet Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.

The Indian President arrived on Monday on a six-day state visit to Cambodia from September 13 to 18 with the objective of strengthening enduring partnerships with countries of the ASEAN region as part of India's Look-East policy.

She is visiting Cambodia at the invitation of the King Norodom Sihamoni.

A delegation of senior officials and Minister of Tribal Affairs Kantilal Bhuria is accompanying President Patil on her visit.

India has "warm and cordial relations" with Cambodia, one of the important countries in the ASEAN region, which has supported New Delhi's bid for permanent membership of the UN Security Council.

Apart from visiting Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, President Patil would be travelling with the delegation to Siem Reap where the world famous temples of Angkor Vat are located.

India and Cambodia enjoy a long standing and shared historical affinity and close cultural ties. Cambodia is an important partner of India among the ASEAN countries.

President Patil's visit to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap will provide an opportunity for reaffirming and strengthening multifaceted bilateral ties, including commercial and investment relations.

Cambodia is also currently the coordinator on the ASEAN side for India-ASEAN relations.

Earlier during her Lao visit, President Patil said relations with Lao and Cambodia are of strategic importance to India. By Praful Kumar Singh (ANI)

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