Vietnam’s Leaders Receive Cambodian Senate President

President of the Cambodian Senate Samdech Say Chhum and a Cambodian high-ranking delegation started a three-day official visit to Vietnam at the invitation of National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh welcomes President of the Cambodian Senate Samdech Say Chhum. Photo: VGP
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh welcomes the President of the Cambodian Senate Samdech Say Chhum. Photo: VGP

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh had a meeting with visiting President of the Cambodian Senate Samdech Say Chhum in Hanoi on October 25, VNA reported.

PM Chinh congratulated Cambodia on the success of the recent election of People’s Councils at the communal and ward levels with the great victory of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), as well as the comprehensive achievements that the country has gained, especially in the Covid-19 fight.

He hailed Cambodia’s contributions as the ASEAN and AIPA Chair in 2022, expressing his belief that the relevant high-level meetings in Phnom Penh in November will be successful, contributing to building an ASEAN Community of peace, stability and prosperity, and enhancing the status and role of Cambodia in the region and the world.

The Vietnamese leader affirmed that Vietnam stays persistent to its foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, diversification, multilateralisation, being a good friend, a trustworthy partner and a responsible member of the international community, not choosing sides but justice.

Briefing the guest on the situation of Vietnam, he said that in the third quarter of this year, the country posted a GDP growth of 13.67%, with average expansion in the three quarters reaching 8.83%, the highest for nine months in 11 years.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (R) welcomes  President of the Cambodian Senate Samdech Say Chhum. Photo: VNA
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (R) welcomes President of the Cambodian Senate Samdech Say Chhum. Photo: VNA

PM Chinh highly valued the meaningful activities jointly held by both sides during the Vietnam-Cambodia, Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Year 2022, especially the celebration of the 45th anniversary of the odyssey to overthrow the Pol Pot genocidal regime held in June, and the ceremony marking the 55th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic relations in Hanoi in June.

The activities have contributed to raising public awareness, especially among the young generations, of the responsibility to preserve and reinforce the friendly neighborliness and solidarity between the two peoples, he said.

The leader said he hopes the President of the Cambodian Senate will continue to work for the further promotion of bilateral ties while supporting the maintenance of the regular delegation exchanges and the strengthening of bilateral cooperation mechanisms in all channels to further beef up the political trust among senior leaders of the two countries.

PM Chinh suggested that the two legislatures promote their role in building institutions and completion of the legal system to create a smooth legal corridor for the strengthening of bilateral partnerships in all fields while working together to supervise and hasten ministries, sectors, and localities to effectively implement the agreements signed between the two countries.

Along with coordinating closely for a higher efficiency of economic, trade, and investment partnership between the two countries, they should work together to foster the connectivity of the two economies, he said.

An overview of the meeting. Photo: VNA
An overview of the meeting. Photo: VNA

He said he hopes President Samdech Say Chhum and the Cambodian Senate will continue to support the implementation of measures to remove difficulties facing Vietnamese-origin people in Cambodia, helping them settle down and integrate into the host society and act as a bridge for the friendship between the two countries while creating optimal conditions for Vietnamese investors and businesses to operate in Cambodia.

The leader took the occasion to thank the Cambodian side for its coordination in rescuing many Vietnamese citizens who were scammed and forced to work illegally at a number of business establishments of foreigners in the Cambodian territory. He proposed that the two sides continue to work together to thoroughly deal with the issue, and the Cambodian authorities continue to create favorable conditions for Vietnamese victims to return home safely.

For his part, Samdech Say Chhum highlighted the Vietnam-Cambodia traditional solidarity and thanked the Party, Government, military, and people of Vietnam for supporting and giving a timely and great help to Cambodia throughout history. He affirmed that Cambodia is working hard to further reinforce the solidarity, sound neighborliness, and comprehensive, stable, and long-standing ties between the two countries.

He noted that amid the complicated changes in the world, the two sides should continue to maintain and strengthen their friendly neighborliness and solidarity, together weather the difficulties, and coordinate closely with and support each other at multilateral forums.

The two leaders shared delight at the stable growth of bilateral cooperation. Last year, two-way trade topped USD 9.5 billion, a surge of nearly 80% year on year. In the first nine months of this year, the figure hit USD 8.45 billion, up 16.7%.

Currently, 198 Vietnamese-funded projects are operating in Cambodia with a total investment of USD 2.92 billion, making Vietnam the biggest investor among the ASEAN countries and among the top five largest investors in the neighboring country. Vietnam is also the country with the highest number of people traveling to Cambodia.

The two sides agreed to continue to collaborate closely in efficiently implementing existing cooperation agreements and mechanisms in defense and security while cooperating to complete the border demarcation and border marker planting activities to build a shared border of peace, friendship, cooperation, and long-standing development.

They also pledged to coordinate closely and support each other at multilateral forums. PM Chinh said that the two sides should work with other ASEAN countries to maintain solidarity and unity as well as the central role of the ASEAN in strategic issues, including sea-related ones.

National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue (R) and President of the Cambodian Senate Samdech Say Chhum. Photo: VNA
National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue (R) and President of the Cambodian Senate Samdech Say Chhum. Photo: VNA

Earlier, National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue held talks with visiting President of the Cambodian Senate Samdech Say Chhum in Hanoi on October 24, following the welcome ceremony the same day.

The Cambodian Senate President thanked the Vietnamese Party, State, army, and people for providing tremendous support for the just and fair cause of the Cambodian people in all historical periods.

He affirmed that Cambodia always maintains its consistent stance on cultivating solidarity and friendship between the two peoples in line with the motto of good neighborliness, traditional friendship, comprehensive cooperation, and long-term sustainability.

He also thanked the Vietnamese NA for assisting the Cambodian Senate in equipment and personnel training.

As Cambodia will host the 43rd General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA 43), he wished to welcome Chairman Hue to the meeting this November.

Chairman Hue, for his part, agreed with his guest that despite global and regional uncertainties, long-standing friendship and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Cambodia will be forever an invaluable asset that needs to be nurtured and passed on to later generations.

Vietnam is ready to cooperate extensively with Cambodia in workforce training and development, including tertiary and post-tertiary level, Hue said.

He suggested improving the efficiency of bilateral education training for students, including pushing forward the establishment of the Faculty of Vietnamese Studies at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, thus enhancing the quality of Cambodian students who are to study in Vietnam.

As the demarcation and planting of border markers on the mainland between Vietnam and Cambodia have been 84% completed, Hue proposed both sides focus on completing the remaining work to build a borderline of peace, cooperation, and development.

The host suggested promoting negotiations on a new agreement on border management regulations in replace of the 1983 agreement and talking to reach an agreement on border gates and regulations on the management of border gates.

He wished that the Cambodian Senate and the President would create favorable conditions for the issuance of legal papers to Cambodians of Vietnamese origin, as well as offer support to the Vietnamese firms in the country. He hoped an agreement on the settlement of issues related to nationals in each country would be signed in line with the international law and conditions of the two nations.

Speaking highly of bilateral coordination at international, ASEAN, regional and sub-regional forums, Hue affirmed that Vietnam supports Cambodia in its capacity as Chair of ASEAN and AIPA 2022.

He believed that the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summits and AIPA-43 slated for November in Phnom Penh would be a success, making important contributions to building ASEAN Community and improving Cambodia’s international reputation and position.

The top Vietnamese legislator suggested both sides strengthen exchanges and consultations on strategic issues involving security – development of the region and each country, strive to maintain solidarity, and unity and affirm the ASEAN’s central role in regional security issues.

He proposed upholding ASEAN’s principle stance on the Bien Dong Sea (internationally called the South China Sea) such as ensuring security, safety, and freedom of navigation and overflight, enhancing trust building in accordance with international law; settling disputes by peaceful means in line with international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), strictly and fully abiding by the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and soon reaching a substantive, effective and efficient Code of Conduct in the Sout China Sea (COC).

He requested that the signed Protocols and national defense-security cooperation agreements be carried out effectively. Collaboration in border security and the fight against crimes and illegal entry-exit be more effective while a Master Plan on connecting the two economies till 2030 be completed soon.

The host thanked Cambodian agencies for working closely with Vietnam to rescue Vietnamese citizens who were tricked and coerced into illegal work in several business establishments run by foreigners in Cambodia. He suggested both sides continue working together on this issue.

Vietnam's Leaders Receive Cambodian Senate President
At the talks. Photo: NDO

On the occasion, he asked Cambodia to continue with assistance in the search and repatriation of the remains of Vietnamese voluntary soldiers and experts in the country.

He urged the two Governments soon sign a border trade agreement, and effectively implement the Memorandum of Understanding on border trade infrastructure development and connectivity, the Agreement on Investment Promotion and Protection and the Agreement on Double Taxation Avoidance.

Both sides agreed that the Vietnamese NA will work closely with the Cambodian Senate and NA to improve the efficiency of cooperation between the two Governments and peoples while offering mutual support at regional and global inter-parliamentary forums.

They promised to maintain all-level meetings to share professional experience in law-making, supervision and deciding on the country’s important issues.

The exchange of delegations via Party, State, NA, Government and people-to-people diplomacy channels will be maintained in order to consolidate political trust between the two Parties and nations. High-level agreements by leaders of the two Parties and countries will be effectively implemented so as to deepen bilateral political ties.

In the evening the same day, NA Chairman Hue hosted a banquet for President Say Chhum and the high-ranking Cambodian delegation.

Hannah Nguyen