Friendship with Cambodia cemented through visit

December 30, 2021 | 10:23
The Vietnamese state president’s state visit to Cambodia has helped both nations to further their ties. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung talked with VIR’s Thanh Dat about the trip’s important outcomes.
Friendship with Cambodia cemented through visit
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung

How important has this visit been to the bilateral relationship between Vietnam and Cambodia?

At the invitation of Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni, State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and the high-level delegation of our Party and state paid a visit to Cambodia during December 21-22. The visit is very important to the two countries.

This is the first visit to Cambodia by Phuc as president of Vietnam, making him the first high-ranking Vietnamese leader to officially visit Cambodia during the past two years. The visit demonstrates the consistent foreign policy set out by our 13th National Party Congress that we have been putting a high priority on developing our relationship with neighbouring countries, including the traditional friendship ties and comprehensive relationship with Cambodia, as well as the fine sentiment of Vietnam’s Party, state, and people for the brotherly Cambodian nation.

King Norodom Sihamoni and members of the Cambodian Senate, National Assembly, government, and people welcomed the Vietnamese leader and delegation with the highest honours. This demonstrated Cambodia’s high priority for the relationship of good neighbourliness, traditional friendship, comprehensive cooperation, and long-term stability between Vietnam and Cambodia.

What have been the key outcomes of the visit?

The visit covered 16 activities of the Vietnamese leader and many other activities of leaders of some ministries and sectors. Through high-level meetings, both sides reached many comprehensive outcomes.

Firstly, the visit has contributed to further cementing both nations’ trustful and neighbourly friendship ties as well as the close sentiment between both sides’ leaders. The visit has helped consolidate the relationship and created stronger momentum for the two nations to boost their comprehensive cooperation in all sectors.

Secondly, both sides’ leaders have reached a consensus on major policies and measures on continuing deepening the bilateral cooperation more qualitatively and practically, especially in the key sectors such as defence and security, border cooperation, trade, investment, transport connectivity, education, culture, healthcare, people-to-people exchange, and cooperation among localities.

Both sides have also signed seven cooperation documents on security, defence, justice, education, and border cooperation, and the minutes of the 19th session of the Cambodia-Vietnam Joint Commission on Economic, Cultural, Scientific and Technological Cooperation.

Thirdly, the visit has marked the launching event for the “Friendship Year for Vietnam-Cambodia, and Cambodia-Vietnam” aimed at celebrating the 55th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the two nations in 2022. The two sides have agreed that they will organise activities to raise awareness among citizens about the significance of keeping and fostering the neighbourly relationship between the two peoples, for the prosperity of the two nations, and peace, cooperation, and development in the region.

Next, both sides have agreed to continue closely combining at international, regional, and sub-regional forums, especially within ASEAN. Vietnam demonstrated its full support for and close combination with Cambodia in this nation’s ASEAN Chair 2022 Year.

Lastly, in the implementation of Conclusion No.12 of the Politburo on the work of overseas Vietnamese people in the new situation, President Phuc has also met with representatives of the Vietnamese Khmer people community and Vietnamese businesses operating in Cambodia.

During all meetings with the Cambodian leaders, President Phuc proposed that they continue to pay attention to and create all the best conditions for the Vietnamese people living and working in Cambodia.

What will be the key orientations for boosting the relationship in the coming time?

At all meetings, President Phuc and Cambodian leaders have reached a high consensus on major orientations for the development of both nations’ bilateral relationship.

The two sides will work together to effectively implement high-level documents and agreements that have already been signed between the two nations during the visit. They will also organise activities within the framework of the aforementioned Friendship Year.

Next, both countries will continue beefing up ties in trade, investment, and economic connectivity, including the accomplishment of the Master Plan on Vietnam–Cambodia Economic Connectivity until 2030, with a focus laid on key sectors and pivotal cooperative projects, including Vietnam’s investment projects in Cambodia in agriculture, industrial plants, telecommunications, and banking.

Vietnam and Cambodia will also push up the implementation of the Ba Vet-Moc Bai expressway connecting Ho Chi Minh City with Phnom Penh city. The two countries will sign a border trade agreement to facilitate goods flows into their respective markets. They will also work with each other to improve the quality and effectiveness of cooperation in education and training.

Finally, Vietnam will continue closely combining with Cambodia in international and regional issues during the latter’s undertaking the role as chair of ASEAN 2022. I believe that with the direction and determination of both nations’ leaders, Vietnam and Cambodia will make greater efforts to implement the set targets.

Bilateral agreements signed during the visit

- Cooperation Plan for 2022 between the Ministry of Interior of Cambodia and the Ministry of Public Security of Vietnam;

- Annual Cooperation Plan for 2022 between the two ministries of defence;

- Agreed minutes of the 19th Meeting of the Cambodia-Vietnam Joint Commission on Economic, Cultural, Scientific and Technological Cooperation;

- Agreed minutes of the meeting between the two chairmen of the Cambodia-Vietnam Joint Border Commission;

- Memorandum of Agreement on Education Cooperation for 2021-2025;

- MoU on the Conclusion of the Border Trade Agreement between Cambodia and Vietnam; and

- Work Plan for 2022-2023 between the two ministries of justice.

By Thanh Dat

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