Southeast Asian leaders travelled to Cambodia on Friday to pay their respects to the country's late former monarch Norodom Sihanouk who navigated the kingdom through six turbulent decades.
The premiers of Vietnam, Laos and Thailand each spent about 15 minutes at the royal palace where the revered ex-king is lying in state after his body was brought home Wednesday to a sea of hundreds of thousands of mourners.
They were the first foreign leaders to pay their condolences at the palace.
The charismatic royal, known as the "King-Father" to a people he referred to as his "children", died of a heart attack in Beijing on Monday aged 89.
The dignitaries were greeted by Sihanouk's wife Queen Monique, his son King Norodom Sihamoni and Prime Minister Hun Sen at the Throne Hall where the coffin is being kept, said Sihanouk's long-time aide Prince Sisowath Thomico.
Cambodian and Chinese experts have already begun preparations to embalm the body before it goes on public view, according to the aide, but for now the ornate casket remained closed.
Sihanouk, who towered over Cambodia through decades marked by independence from France, civil war, the murderous Khmer Rouge regime and finally peace, remained hugely popular even after abdicating in favour of his son in 2004 citing old age and ill health.
He will lie in state for the next three months ahead of an elaborate cremation ceremony. It is not yet known when members of the public will be invited to visit Sihanouk's body.
Government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said the high-level visits from neighbouring countries showed that Southeast Asian nations were "one family".
All three prime ministers briefly held meetings with their Cambodian counterpart during their one-day trips as well.
Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra also spoken with Hun Sen on Thursday when she called him to smooth ruffled feathers after a Thai television reporter was pictured standing with her feet near images of Sihanouk placed on the ground, officials from both nations said.
The photographs spread like wildfire online and upset some Cambodians, prompting an immediate apology from the journalist and her station.