Jun 23, 2019 / 17:56

Vietnam, Singapore PMs meet after controversial Cambodia statement

The Hanoitimes - PM Phuc said the history has proved that PM Lee’s statement is totally wrong about Vietnam’s role at that time.

At a meeting with Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong, Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc criticized the former's statement which called Vietnam “invaded” and “occupied” Cambodia in late 1970s and early 1980s in the Pol Pot-led Khmer Rouge which killed more than three million Cambodians. 
 
Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (right) and Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong on the sidelines of the 34th Asean Summit in Bangkok on June 22. Photo: Straitstimes
Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (right) and Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong on the sidelines of the 34th Asean Summit in Bangkok on June 22. Photo: Straitstimes
The meeting was held as proposed by the Singaporean side on the sidelines of the 34th ASEAN Summit taking place on June 20-23 in Bangkok, Thailand, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

PM Phuc said the history has proved that PM Lee’s statement is totally wrong about Vietnam’s role at that time. 

He noted that the recall of this prejudice has hurt both Vietnam and Cambodia, especially relatives of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese volunteers who lost their lives in exchange for peace for Cambodians from the Khmer Rouge genocide and to reconstruct Cambodia years later.

PM Lee explained that Singapore did not intend to hurt Vietnam but just recalled a painful chapter in the Indo-China history to highlight the value of present peace and stability and the need of maintaining unification and cooperation. 

At the meeting, PM Lee spoke highly of the friendship and reliable relations with Vietnam, emphasizing the role of Vietnam in stability and prosperity of a united and strong ASEAN community. 

The two government leaders agreed that the meeting has helped the two sides understand each other more in the spirit of promoting the Vietnam-Singapore strategic partnership. 

To work as ASEAN presidency in 2020 and a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the 2020-2021 term, the two PMs agreed that Vietnam and Singapore would tighten their relations, including in consultancy and cooperating in regional and international issues of mutual interest, especially for ASEAN common point of view in regional and international issues.