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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     December 23,  2016  

Viet Nam, Cambodia hope for consolidated ties

22 December 2016

Top government leaders from Viet Nam and Cambodia have expressed their desire to cement and develop bilateral ties in the spirit of “good neighbourliness, traditional friendship, all-faceted and long-lasting co-operation”.

During talks with Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc in Ha Noi the day yesterday, Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen said his visit aimed to promote traditional friendship and all-round collaboration with Việt Nam in a solid and extensive manner.

The Vietnamese PM, for his part, expressed his belief that the visit would be an important milestone elevating the two countries’ friendship and co-operation for the sake of their people.

He hoped that the two countries would work more closely, respect each other’s legitimate interests, jointly settle remaining issues, maintain an environment of peace and stability, and strengthen friendship between the two peoples.

Both sides agreed to facilitate visits by the two countries’ leaders and officials from ministries, agencies, localities and trade unions while working closely together to effectively implement signed agreements between the two nations and governments.

They pledged to thoroughly prepare for the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties (June 24) in order to increase mutual understanding between the two people, especially younger generations. The two foreign ministries will direct activities for the event.

On the occasion, they agreed to promptly convene the 15th meeting of the Viet Nam-Cambodia Inter-governmental Committee next year.

On economic, trade and investment ties, the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce and the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade will soon conduct negotiations for the signing of the Việt Nam-Cambodia border trade agreement.

The host suggested stepping up transport and electricity connectivity, tourism, telecommunication and banking within the framework of a master plan on connecting Cambodian, Lao, and Vietnamese economies.

The two countries will direct their transport ministries to chair negotiations on the governmental-level agreement on transport co-operation strategy as mentioned in the agreement adopted by the 14th session of the Viet Nam-Cambodia Joint Committee on Economic, Cultural and Scientific-Technological Cooperation.

The ministries are required to negotiate the signing of a deal to build a highway connecting Hồ Chí Minh City and Phnom Penh on the occasion of a meeting between the two PMs next year, as well as survey the model “One door- one stop” which is expected to be launched at Mộc Bài – Ba Vet border gate.

Host and guest committed to maintaining the principle of not allowing any hostile forces to use one’s territory to sabotage security of the other, as well as jointly fight smuggling, illegal immigration, crimes involving drugs, human and weapon trafficking, trans-national and cyber crimes.

PM Phúc thanked the Cambodian government for partnering with Viet Nam in the search and repatriation of volunteer Vietnamese soldiers who sacrificed their lives in Cambodia. He asked his counterpart to instruct relevant Cambodian agencies to complete the construction, repair and restoration of Viet Nam-Cambodia friendship memorials.

Hailing the signing of the education co-operation agreement for 2016-2020, the two leaders underscored the importance of improving training quality and living expenses for students sent overseas for study.

With regard to border issues, the Joint Committee on Land Border Demarcation and Marker Planting was assigned to work quickly to complete land border demarcation with fair, appropriate and acceptable measures and settle emerging issues at border areas in line with existing mechanisms and the spirit of neighborliness between the two countries.

On the subject of overseas Vietnamese affairs, the Vietnamese host hoped that Hun Sen would continue directing agencies to accelerate the settlement of legal papers involving Vietnamese nationals in Cambodia, making it easier for them to settle in and contribute to bilateral ties.

The two sides agreed to urge the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to promptly resolve the illegal immigration to Cambodia by the Central Highlands ethnic minorities thoroughly in accordance with the Viet Nam-Cambodia-UNHCR agreement signed on January 25, 2005.

On the occasion, PM Phuc accepted PM Hun Sen’s invitation to visit Cambodia next year with pleasure.

Following the talks, the two PMs witnessed the signing of an agreement on judicial assistance in criminal matters between the two governments; an agreement on the transfer of sentenced persons between the two countries; and another between Việt Nam’s Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs and the Cambodian Ministry of Cults and Religion.

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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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