PHNOM PENH—Cambodia’s authoritarian leader, Prime Minister Hun Sen, admires President Duterte and considers him an ally in standing up to Western countries that meddle in Asian countries’ internal affairs, according to Philippine Ambassador to Cambodia Christopher Montero.
Cambodia has elevated Mr. Duterte’s two-day trip to Phnom Penh—made on the invitation of King Norodom Sihamoni—to a state visit from the usual official visit when new leaders come to see their neighbors in Southeast Asia.
Mr. Duterte’s trip, which starts on Tuesday, is the first stand-alone, bilateral visit of a Philippine leader to Cambodia in 20 years, Montero said.
Former Presidents Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Benigno Aquino III visited Cambodia only for meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), he said. Former President Fidel Ramos had an official meeting here during his term, he added.
“I must tell you that Prime Minister Hun Sen has deep admiration for President Duterte. He has expressed it publicly in the past. He sees in him an ally in terms of standing up against Western countries in so far as noninterference in internal affairs of the state is concerned,” Montero told reporters here.
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