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Indonesia planning closer Siem Reap links

Indonesian ambassador to Cambodia Santo Darmosumarto met with provincial governor Prak Sophoan in Siem Reap town on May 30.


The archipelago nation of Indonesia is investigating ways to enhance bilateral tourism and education ties with Siem Reap province, including possible direct flights.


Indonesian ambassador to Cambodia Santo Darmosumarto met with provincial governor Prak Sophoan in Siem Reap town on May 30.


One of the most significant outcomes of the meeting was an agreement to explore the feasibility of direct flights between Indonesia and Siem Reap.


Darmosumarto explained that such a connection would facilitate easier travel, enhance people-to-people contact and promote mutual tourism.


“We need it to promote people-to-people contact. We hope that tourists who visit Bali will continue their journey onwards to Siem Reap and vice versa," he told The Post.


“We are encouraging airlines in Indonesia to study the feasibility of a direct link,” he said.


He added that a direct flight would also simplify exchanges between Indonesians and Cambodians.


The meeting marked the ambassador's first formal engagement with Sophoan since taking up his post in September of last year.


Despite having visited Siem Reap numerous times, Darmosumarto expressed his pleasure at officially meeting the governor.


Both sides highlighted the importance of strengthening cooperation between Siem Reap and various Indonesian provinces, particularly in light of the 65 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.


“The ambassador committed to promoting Siem Reap, known for the iconic Angkor Wat and its rich cultural heritage, to the Indonesian public,” according to the Indonesian Embassy.


“This initiative aims to boost tourism, create economic opportunities, and strengthen regional ties through enhanced mutual understanding,” it added.


In addition to tourism links, Darmosumarto proposed cultural collaborations such as joint exhibitions featuring Indonesian and Siem Reap artists.


“By showcasing Cambodia’s heritage and landmarks through the eyes of Indonesian artists, we can build bridges that further strengthen the bonds between our two peoples," he said.


In order to further educational ties, the ambassador also announced plans to conduct a public lecture at Angkor University.


In addition, he intends to encourage more Cambodians to apply for Indonesian scholarships and promote educational exchanges.


Darmosumarto invited any Cambodians who are interested in enhancing their tourism expertise to participate in vocational training programmes in Indonesia.


The meeting concluded on a positive note, with both parties expressing optimism about future collaborations and the potential benefits of direct flights between Indonesia and Siem Reap.


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