PHNOM PENH, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday afternoon met with French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who visited the country to attend the cremation ceremony of the late Cambodian King Father Norodom Sihanouk.
The meeting was held at the capital's Peace Palace. Ayrault, on behalf of the Government of France and French citizens, expressed condolences to Hun Sen over the passing-away of former King Sihanouk.
Hun Sen thanked Ayrault for his visit to Cambodia to participate in the cremation ceremony of the King Father, which will be held on Monday evening.
Earlier in the day, Ayrault also paid a courtesy call on Sihanouk's wife Queen Mother Norodom Monineath, and her son King Norodom Sihamoni in order to express his deep sympathy to them over Sihanouk's death.
Ayrault is the highest-ranking European representative to attend the cremation ceremony.
Born on Oct. 31, 1922, Cambodia's most revered monarch ruled the country from 1941 to 1955 and again from 1993 until his voluntary abdication in 2004 in favor of his son, the current King Norodom Sihamoni.
Sihanouk was a presence through decades of political and social turmoil in Cambodia, despite long periods of exile overseas.
He died of illness at the age of 90 in Beijing on Oct. 15 last year.