Visit by Lieutenant General HUN MANET, Deputy Commander in Chief of Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) and Commander of Royal Cambodian Army (RCA) to India 2-4 February 2023

Embassy of India

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Press Release

Visit by Lieutenant General HUN MANET, Deputy Commander in Chief of Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) and Commander of Royal Cambodian Army (RCA) to India 2-4 February 2023

On an invitation from General Manoj Pande, Chief of the Army Staff, Indian Army, Lieutenant General Hun Manet, Deputy Commander in Chief of Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and Commander of Royal Cambodian Army is visiting India from 2-4 February 2023. Lt. Gen. Hun Manet is leading a 10 member delegation comprising of senior officers from the Royal Cambodian Army. This is a milestone in the army-to-army relations between the two countries as this is the first visit by any Commander of Royal Cambodian Army.

The General Officer commenced the visit by paying tributes to the fallen heroes of the Indian Armed Forces by laying a wreath at the National War Memorial. He met with Giridhar Aramane, Defence Secretary and was briefed on Indian indigenous defence equipment manufacturing eco-system by the Department of Defence Production (DDP) and the Army Design Bureau.

The visiting General Officer was accorded a Ceremonial Reception and Guard of Honour at the South Block lawns after which he met General Manoj Pande, the Chief of the Army Staff. Chief of the Army Staff extended a warm welcome to Lt Gen Hun Manet and the two chiefs discussed avenues to strengthen bilateral Defence Cooperation between India and Cambodia. Terms of Reference (ToR) for Staff Talks between two Armies was signed & Customized Training Courses for the Royal Cambodian Army by the Indian side were announced during the visit. A banquet was hosted by the Chief of the Army Staff for the visiting delegation during which gifting of integrated weapon training simulator for RCA was announced.

The ToR includes key areas of High Level Exchanges, Training & Joint Exercises, Capacity Building Assistance, Exchange of Information, and Cooperation in other areas of mutual interest. It will institutionalize engagement and will provide a new momentum to Army-to-Army cooperation between the two sides. The Staff Level Talks in accordance with the ToR between the two armies will take place in Cambodia in April 2023. Deputing of English language trainers and close interaction between troops of both armies will be further discussed during the Staff Level Talks.

The assistance by the Indian side towards capacity building of RCA is a key area of cooperation and it has been further strengthened and deepened with the customized courses tailored to the requirement of RCA announced during the visit.

A number of high level interactions took place during the visit with Lt. Gen. Hun Manet calling on Hon`ble Vice President of India Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar, External Affairs Minister (EAM) of India Dr. S. Jaishankar, and Shri Rajnath Singh, Minister of Defence of India. EAM in a tweet after the meeting on 3rd February said that he was happy to exchange views on geopolitical situation & regional challenges and agreed on the need for independent minded nations to cooperate closely. Lt Gen Hun Manet also met with Deputy National Security Adviser of India.

Lt Gen Hun Manet also visited Rajputana Rifles Regimental Centre Delhi Cantt, where he visited the museum showcasing rich heritage of the Regiment and he was taken to training area where a display of indigenous defence equipment was organised alongwith a demonstration on de-mining activities by Corps of Engineers. The visiting General Officer also called on General Anil Chauhan, Chief of Defence Staff prior to his departure from New Delhi.

India and Cambodia share centuries old cultural, religious and people to people connect. Cambodia remains a key partner in India’s ‘Act East’ policy. Both nations have cordial relations in the field of defence and security.

India’s defense linkages with Cambodia go back many years. India had provided a contingent of 2,250 personnel, including both military and non-military, for the conduct of the UNTAC sponsored elections in 1993. This contingent was highly appreciated by Cambodians of all factions. India was also among the initial contributors to UN de-mining operations in Cambodia. The Indian Army’s Corps of Engineers, as part of UNTAC, contributed significantly to evolving a demining doctrine relevant to local conditions. The defence cooperation has been continuing with the conduct of training capsule for Royal Cambodian Armed Forces in Demining and Peacekeeping modules, defence courses under Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC), goodwill visits by Indian Navy & Indian Coast Guard Ships and exchange of official delegations.

The visit by Lt. Gen. Hun Manet is a welcome addition which will further strengthen the Defense Cooperation between India and Cambodia as well as the bond of friendship between the leadership from the two countries.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

February 4, 2023