King Norodom Sihamoni departed for Hanoi Tuesday morning, for a trip where he is
expected to strengthen bilateral cooperation between the two neighbors,
Cambodian and Vietnamese officials said.
"The visit of his majesty to Vietnam is the second one over the
past years," Foreign Minister Hor Namhong told VOA Khmer after the king's
departure. "It is clear that this visit encourages the friendly alliance
and stronger cooperation between the two countries."
The king was accompanied by a delegation of royal palace and
government officials on a dedicated Siem Reap Air flight.
Senate President Chea Sim, National Assembly President Heng
Samrin and Prime Minister Hun Sen were also present for the official farewell.
Opposition lawmaker Son Chhay issued a statement Monday
wondering "if his majesty will
have the opportunity to propose to the Vietnamese president Nguyen Minh Triet
or with other Vietnamese leaders to release the Cambodian monk [Tim Sakhorn] and
to procure the rights of living to Cambodian people over there."
Vietnamese Embassy spokesman Trinh Ba Cam said Tuesday the
visit would strengthen ties between the two neighbors. He declined to discuss
whom the king would meet in the capital.