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Kishida holds talks with Cambodian counterpart

All Sunday papers reported from Phnom Penh on visiting Prime Minister Kishida’s meeting with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday. In a joint statement issued after the session, the two leaders expressed “concern” about the situation in Ukraine without mentioning Russia by name. Although they agreed that the aggression constitutes a serious violation of the UN Charter and that the foreign military must withdraw from Ukraine immediately, the joint statement stopped short of condemning the invasion. The dailies conjectured that the absence of the words “Russia” or “condemnation” reflect the hesitancy of ASEAN, which is chaired by Cambodia this year, to criticize Russia. The two officials separately agreed to call for regional stakeholders to refrain from taking unilateral actions that raise tensions in the South China Sea, achieve a rules-based free and open Indo-Pacific and help Myanmar (Burma) resolve its prolonged social unrest through dialogue between the junta and democratic forces.


On his apparent failure to achieve the visit’s foremost goal of obtaining a commitment from Cambodia to taking a united stance against Moscow, Kishida was quoted as telling the press: “It is unrealistic to expect every country to do the same thing.”

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