Rousing red carpet welcome for President Tony Tan Keng Yam in Cambodia

President Tony Tan is greeted by Cambodia's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Royal Palace Kong Sam Ol upon his arrival at Phnom Penh on Jan 8, 2017.
President Tony Tan is greeted by Cambodia's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Royal Palace Kong Sam Ol upon his arrival at Phnom Penh on Jan 8, 2017.PHOTO: MCI
President Tony Tan arrives at Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Jan 8, 2017.
President Tony Tan arrives at Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Jan 8, 2017. PHOTO: MCI

PHNOM PENH - President Tony Tan Keng Yam landed in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh on Sunday (Jan 8) afternoon to a rousing red carpet welcome.

Cambodian Guards stood at attention at the Phnom Penh International Airport, where a line of Cambodians also waited to greet the president, waving Singapore and Cambodia flags.

They also carried with them flowers, and portraits of their monarch, King Norodom Sihamoni, alongside those of Dr Tan and his wife Mary.

At the airport, Singapore flags flew high alongside the red, white and blue Cambodian flag, and a billboard proclaimed: "Long live the bonds of solidarity and friendship between Singapore-Cambodia".

Dr Tan was received by Cambodia's deputy prime minister and Minister of the Royal Palace Kong Sam Ol, and tourism minister Thong Khon. He will be in Cambodia for a state visit until Jan 11, when he sets off on a state visit to Laos.

The president later headed to the Independence Monument, where he laid a ceremonial wreath.

The 20-metre tall, lotus-shaped structure at the heart of Phnom Penh commemorates Cambodia's independence from France in 1953, and is also a memorial for the country's war dead.

He was received by acting minister of national defence Chay Saing Yun. Dr Tan will round off his first day in Phnom Penh among Singaporeans, at a reception for the Singapore community in Cambodia.

On Monday (Jan 9), Dr Tan's packed itinerary includes a welcome ceremony at the grand Royal Palace, and an audience with King Sihamoni, as well as with Queen Mother Norodom Monineath.

He will also meet Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen. Both leaders will witness the signing of two agreements on vocational training and healthcare.

Later that night, Dr Tan will be back at the Royal Palace for a royal banquet hosted in his honour by King Sihamoni.