Foreign leaders to pay tribute to Cambodia's late King Father while attending ASEAN Summit

2012-11-15 12:46:57 GMT2012-11-15 20:46:57(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

PHNOM PENH, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- A number of foreign leaders will pay their last respects to recently deceased King Father Norodom Sihanouk at Phnom Penh's Royal Palace while they visit Cambodia to attend the 21st ASEAN Summit and related Summits later this week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Thursday.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will pay tribute to the late King on Sunday, while Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Malaysian Prime Minister Modh Najib Hj Abd Razak, and Naoyuki Shinohara, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, will pay tribute to Sihanouk next Monday.

In addition, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the World Bank's Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati, the World Trade Organization's Director General Pascal Lamy, and the Asian Development Bank's President Haruhiko Kuroda will pay their homage to Sihanouk next Tuesday.

Also, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key will pay his last respect to the late King next Wednesday.

Sihanouk died of illness at the age of 90 in Beijing on Oct. 15 and his body was returned to Phnom Penh on Oct. 17.

After a week of mourning, his body has been lying in state for at least three months at the Royal Palace for the public to pay their last respects before it is cremated in the first week of February next year.

Sihanouk ruled the country from 1941 to 1955 and again from 1993 until his voluntary abdication on Oct. 7, 2004 in favor of his son, the current King Norodom Sihamoni.

He was the king who led the country to gain independence from France in 1953.

He suffered from various forms of cancer, diabetes and hypertension and had been treated by Chinese doctors in Beijing for years before his death.

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