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55th anniversary of Vietnam-Cambodia relations observed
Minh Vu 16:27, 2022/06/24
Vietnam and Cambodia have entered a stage of comprehensive cooperation and mutual benefit with a five-decade legacy.

Senior leaders of Vietnam and Cambodia attended a ceremony in the Hanoi Opera House today [June 24] to celebrate the 55th founding anniversary of the Vietnam-Cambodia diplomatic relations (June 24, 1967-June 24, 2022). 

 Senior officials of both Vietnam and Cambodia at a celebrating ceremony in Hanoi on June 24. Photos: VGP

Attending the ceremony are Vo Van Thuong, Politbureau member and standing secretary of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat, and Men Sam An, Permanent Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia.

Addressing the event, Men Sam An said Vietnam’s assistance has helped bring Cambodia out of a period of mourning and separation. “Vietnam’s support and help have contributed to turning Cambodia from a nation separated by war to a unified country with complete peace and development in all fields,” she noted.

A week ahead of the anniversary, commemoration ceremonies have been held in different parts of Vietnam.

The celebrations include a ceremony held on June 20 in Binh Phuoc Province with Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Cambodian PM Hun Sen in attendance, other ceremonies held in Can Tho City – the hub of the Mekong Delta, and Dak Lak – one of ten localities bordering with Cambodia.

It’s also the 45th anniversary of the historical journey leading to the overthrow of Pol Pot’s genocidal regime mainly contributed by Hun Sen.

The commemorations made headlines as Hun Sen praised Vietnam’s assistance in overthrowing the Khmer Rouge, saying that there were no countries to turn to except Vietnam for help in reorganizing the fight against Pol Pot’s regime and saving millions of people.

The two sides affirmed that celebrating the journey of 55 years enables them to review the joint struggle against the genocidal regime and the two countries’ endeavor for development as well as the decade-long relations set up by President Ho Chi Minh and Prince Norodom Sihanouk.

Cambodian Ambassador to Vietnam Chay Navuth, who is one of the witnesses of the Khmer Rouge brutality, expressed sincere thank to the Vietnamese troops and people in Cambodia’s fight against genocide. The ambassador, whose father was killed by the Pol Pot regime, reminded himself of the valuable assistance that Vietnamese soldiers extended to the Cambodian people during that time, saying that “without Vietnamese military volunteers, there’s no Chay Navuth today.”

Apart from the commemoration ceremonies held this month, the two countries have held celebration plans with the participation of high-profile delegations, artists, and for the first time border guards of both sides stationed in Vietnam’s province of Binh Phuoc and Cambodia’s Kratie provinces.

 Men Sam An, Permanent Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia, speaks at the event.

Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son recalled President Ho Chi Minh’s letter to Prince Norodom Sihanouk, which stated: “The establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries is a brilliant expression of close friendship and fighting solidarity. It is a historical event in the relationship between Vietnam and Cambodia and a positive factor in keeping peace in Indochina and Southeast Asia.”

Son said the relationship between the two countries has entered a stage of comprehensive cooperation and mutual benefit covering politics, defense and security, border demarcation, trade and investment, education, health, culture and sports.

He noted that the two countries maintain their stance of allowing no third party to use each other’s territory to harm another country. 

Regarding border demarcation, both countries have delineated 84% of the borderline, which is more than 1,000km long.

In terms of economics, the two-way trade rose 79.1% on year to reach US$9.54 billion in 2021 while Vietnam tops ASEAN countries in investing in Cambodia with $2.8 billion in 188 projects.

In addition, the number of Vietnamese visitors to Cambodia in the first three months of 2022 hit 46,000, becoming Cambodia’s most important source market. 

Meanwhile, Vietnam provides hundreds of scholarships to Cambodian students annually as well as sends health workers to Cambodia for free checkups and treatment. 

Concerning the cooperation between localities in Vietnam and Cambodia, Ho Chi Minh City and Phnom Penh have maintained a friendship since 1999 with multisectoral relations, with a focus on trade, services, and tourism. 

 Phan Van Mai, Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee, at a celebration ceremony held in Ho Chi Minh City on June 22. Photo: HCMC Party Committee
 Cambodian Consul General in HCM City Sok Dareth at the ceremony on June 22.
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