Outgoing Ambassadors of Sri Lanka, Cambodia Bid Farewell to Vietnamese Leaders

The two ambassadors conveyed their appreciation to Vietnam's side for the assistance and cooperation extended during their tenures.

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President Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) shakes hands with Sri Lankan Ambassador Prasanna Gamage. Photo: VNA
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) shakes hands with Sri Lankan Ambassador Prasanna Gamage. Photo: VNA

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc received the outgoing ambassadors of Sri Lanka and Cambodia, who came to bid their farewells, in Hanoi, VNA reported.

Talking to Sri Lankan Ambassador Prasanna Gamage, President Phuc affirmed that Vietnam always attaches importance to the traditional friendship and multifaceted cooperation with Sri Lanka.

He highly valued the diplomat’s efforts to boost cultural exchanges and partnerships in religious affairs and trade while thanking the South Asian country for supporting Vietnam’s candidacy for membership of the UN Human Rights Council for 2023-2025.

He asked the two countries to work together more closely in fisheries and agriculture, step up existing cooperation mechanisms, strive to raise bilateral trade to USD 500 million, and expand ties in investment, tourism, education-training, culture, Buddhist affairs, and people-to-people exchanges.

They should also continue coordinating within the UN and Non-Aligned Movement frameworks, the President noted, calling on Sri Lanka to keep supporting ASEAN’s common stance on the Bien Dong Sea issue, maintenance of peace and freedom of navigation and overflight, and compliance with international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Ambassador Gamage once again thanked Vietnamese authorities for helping save and assist the 300 Sri Lankan nationals on a vessel in distress in the waters off Vung Tau in November 2022.

He underlined his country’s consistent stance on the Bien Dong Sea issue and support for peace, freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea, and peaceful settlement of disputes in line with international law and UNCLOS.

Sri Lankan Ambassador Prasanna Gamage meets with the leaders of the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations and the Vietnam – Sri Lanka Friendship Association on December 21. Source: Embassy of Sri Lanka in Hanoi
Sri Lankan Ambassador Prasanna Gamage meets with the leaders of the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations and the Vietnam – Sri Lanka Friendship Association on December 21. Source: Embassy of Sri Lanka in Hanoi

Previous, the diplomat has been meeting with various Vietnamese dignitaries in recent days.

Ambassador Gamage was granted an audience with the Most Venerable Thich Thanh Nhieu, Chief Prelate of Vietnam Buddhist Sangha on December 14 at the Quan Su Pagoda in Hanoi.

He met with Le Hoai Trung, Deputy Foreign Minister, head of Party’s Commission for External Relations, on December 20; leaders of the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations and the Vietnam – Sri Lanka Friendship Association on December 21.

The outgoing ambassador was hosted for a farewell luncheon by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Do Hung Viet on December 26.

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) and Cambodian Ambassador Chay Navuth. Photo: VNA
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) and Cambodian Ambassador Chay Navuth. Photo: VNA

At the reception for Cambodian Ambassador Chay Navuth, President Phuc highlighted the two countries’ cooperation achievements, including increasingly consolidated political trust and the building of a shared border of peace, stability, friendship, and cooperation for common development.

Appreciating his guest’s efforts during the last tenure, he noted despite the Covid-19 pandemic, meetings between Vietnamese and Cambodian leaders have been maintained while bilateral trade in the first 11 months of 2022 increased 13.2% year-on-year to nearly USD 10 billion.

The State leader applauded the two sides’ coordination in holding activities in celebration of the Vietnam – Cambodia Friendship Year 2022.

He also congratulated Cambodia on its successes in holding communal-level council elections in June and serving as Chair of ASEAN and the 43rd General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) this year.

Ambassador Navuth thanked the Vietnamese Party, State, and people for assisting Cambodia during the pandemic, noting that as ASEAN Chair in 2020, Vietnam proposed many important initiatives to promote the bloc’s solidarity and cooperation in pandemic control.

Cambodia highly values Vietnam’s coordination in organising practical activities to reinforce the two countries’ traditional friendship, he went on, adding that in any position he holds, he will do his utmost to help nurture the long-standing relations between the two countries.

NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue receives outgoing Cambodian Ambassador Chay Navuth. Photo: VNA
NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue receives outgoing Cambodian Ambassador Chay Navuth. Photo: VNA

On December 29, the Cambodian Ambassador came to say goodbye to National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue.

The top legislator expressed a hope that the Cambodian Government and Parliament will continue removing obstacles, creating more favourable conditions for investors and businesses of each of the two countries to operate in the other’s markets.

The NA Chairman also said he hopes that on the basis of the established mechanisms, the Vietnamese and Cambodian legislatures will step up delegation exchanges at all levels.

For his part, Navuth pledged that he will, in any position, continue to work to consolidate and promote the relationship between Vietnam and Cambodia and their legislative ties, accelerate the demarcation and marker planting for the remaining 16% of land border as well as handle issues relating to the legal status of people of Vietnamese origin in Cambodia.

Hannah Nguyen