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DUTERTE ENTOURAGE

Cambodians await Pacquiao during state visit

/ 04:14 AM December 14, 2016
Philippine's boxer Manny Pacquiao, center, listens his President Rodrigo Duterte, unseen, during a meeting with the Filipino community, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. Duterte on Tuesday arrived Phnom Penh on his two-day official to Cambodia. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Philippine’s boxer Manny Pacquiao, center, listens his President Rodrigo Duterte, unseen, during a meeting with the Filipino community, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. Duterte on Tuesday arrived Phnom Penh on his two-day official to Cambodia. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

PHNOM PENH—Sen. Manny Pacquiao will join efforts to foster closer ties between the Philippines and Cambodia through sports cooperation during President Duterte’s state visit here, according to Philippine Ambassador to Cambodia Christopher Montero.

Pacquiao, who is part of the President’s official delegation, is hugely popular in Cambodia, and Prime Minister Hun Sen is one of his big fans, Montero said.

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The Philippines and Cambodia are expected to sign agreements on sports, transnational crime, tourism and labor during Mr. Duterte’s two-day visit.

Sports cooperation

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The agreement on sports cooperation would involve an exchange between the two countries of the best practices on sports management and training, and an exchange of sports officials.

“We’d like to highlight sports as a means to foster people-to-people exchange,” Montero told reporters.

Cambodian sports officials have sought a meeting with Pacquiao in preparation for their hosting the Southeast Asian Games in 2023, he said.

The first thing that comes to Cambodians’ minds when they meet a Filipino is Pacquiao, who has won titles in eight divisions, Montero said.

Pacquiao is so popular here that some 50 Cambodians tried to register for Mr. Duterte’s meeting with the Filipino community on Tuesday night where the world boxing champion is expected to be present, Montero said.

Their request was turned down because the event was exclusively for Filipinos, he said.

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TAGS: Cambodia, Duterte State Visit, Manny Pacquiao, Philippine news updates, Prime Minister Hun Sen
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