MANILA, Nov 11 (Mabuhay) — President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Thursday expressed elation over the warm welcome he had received from Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni.

MEET WITH CAMBODIAN KING. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., along with his fellow Southeast Asian leaders, pays a courtesy call on Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni on Thursday (Nov. 10, 2022). In a Facebook post, Marcos thanked Sihamoni for the warm welcome. (MNS photo)

This, after Marcos and his fellow Southeast Asian leaders paid a royal audience to Sihamoni before the formal opening of the 40th and 41st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits in Phnom Penh, Cambodia from Nov. 10 to 13.

“Isang karangalan ang maimbita sa Royal Palace ng Cambodia upang makilala si Haring Norodom Sihamoni (It is a privilege to visit the Royal Palace of Cambodia to meet with King Norodom Sihamoni),” Marcos said in a Facebook post.

Marcos also thanked Cambodian Prime Hun Sen for giving him and other ASEAN leaders the opportunity to meet with Sihamoni.

“Lubos kaming nagpapasalamat kay Prime Minister Hun Sen sa binigay niyang pagkakataon sa aming ASEAN Heads of State and Government (We are extremely grateful to Prime Minister Hun Sen for the chance he had given to us, the ASEAN Heads of State and Government),” he said.

In August this year, Marcos vowed to improve the “enduring friendship” between the Philippines and Cambodia.

The Philippines and Cambodia established their formal diplomatic ties on Aug. 20, 1957.

Marcos and the nine other ASEAN leaders emphasized the need to strengthen regional ties “for the benefit of the people of South East Asia and beyond,” the Office of the President said in a statement posted on its official Facebook page.

In a separate Facebook post, Marcos expressed optimism that his attendance to the ASEAN meetings would help the Philippines foster better relations with its ASEAN counterparts and dialogue partners.

“Bukod sa ating talakayan kasama ang mga lider ng ASEAN Member States, tayo rin ay makikipagpulong sa mga ASEAN Dialogue Partners kabilang na ang Canada, China, Japan, at United States (Apart from the meetings with leaders of ASEAN member-states, we will also hold a meeting with our ASEAN dialogue partners, including Canada, China, Japan, and the United States),” he said.

“Umaasa tayong mas titibay ang ating relasyon sa mga bansang ating makakasalamuha sa susunod na mga araw (We are optimistic that we will have better relations with leaders of countries we will have interaction with in the coming days),” Marcos added.

ASEAN leaders are expected to focus on regional cooperation on various areas of concern, which include maritime security, climate change, food security, health, and economic recovery.

They are also set to address regional issues such as the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, the situation in Myanmar, developments in the South China Sea, and the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. (MNS)