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Cambodia rolls out red carpet for Rody

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CAMBODIA – It was a royal treatment for a VIP from the Philippines.

The King of Cambodia was supposed to go into a retreat but instead decided to meet visiting Philippine President Duterte to highlight the significance of bilateral relations.

Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni welcomed Duterte on Wednesday morning at the sprawling Palace where he was given full military honors amid the light drizzle. The Cambodian nation was marking a Buddhist holiday when Duterte paid a state visit here yesterday.

“We are really grateful for His Royal Majesty for receiving our President, especially so that today is a Buddhist holiday here in Cambodia. The holiday is intended to honor the saints of their faith and the King is one of the saints of Cambodia, on account of which he normally is supposed to be in retreat,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. said in a media interview here.

“But he took this is an exception to meet with our President whom he considers as a very important person and so we’re very grateful for that,” he said.

The President was accompanied by several Cabinet members and two senators during the visit to the Royal Palace located in the heart of Phnom Penh. It was the King of Cambodia who invited Duterte to make a state visit to this Asian nation.

Roads leading to the Royal Palace were closed during Duterte’s visit. Hundreds of Cambodian students also lined up the streets to welcome and cheer Duterte and his delegation.

Yasay said the President was “very regal” and “very gentle” when he met the Cambodian King.

“We had earlier a bilateral meeting with His Royal Majesty and you see the king of Cambodia is a very cultured person, very intelligent, very regal, very elegant, well respected by the people,” he said.

“I was personally amazed by the fact that our President had measured up to this very important occasion. The President himself was also very regal, very elegant, and very gentle insofar as his engagements with His Royal Majesty this morning,” he added.

Yasay likewise confirmed that the President’s visit to Cambodia was elevated to the category of a ‘state visit” that usually marked by pomp and pageantry in honor of a visiting head of government/state. (GENALYN KABILING)

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