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Oct 25, 2022 / 22:07

Cambodian Senate President visits Vietnam, agreements hopefully inked

The two sides are expected to address long-lasting citizen-related issues by law.

Vietnam and Cambodia reach some consensus on settling border and citizen-related issues by having some agreements. 

 Cambodian Senate President Samdech Say Chhum (L) and Vietnamese Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue in Hanoi on Oct 25. Photos: Quochoi, VNA, VGP

The concurrence was reached during the meeting between Cambodian Senate President Samdech Say Chhum and Vietnamese Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue in Hanoi today [October 25].

In talks with Samdech Say Chhum, Hue requested that the two parties enter into negotiations for a new border management agreement to replace the 1983 Agreement and create a legal framework on border gates to suit the current situation on demarcation and marker planting.

Hue thanked the Cambodia Senator and hoped that the Senate would facilitate the issuance of identification documents for Vietnamese people, including the naturalization and relocation of people in Tonle Sap, and at the same time support Vietnamese businesses and the Vietnamese community. It is hoped that the two parties can settle citizen-related issues in line with the laws of the two nations and on the basis of international law.

In the meeting with Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, issues of people of Vietnamese origin and Vietnamese people being scammed into illegal work in Cambodia were also discussed.

 General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Nguyen Phu Trong and Cambodian Senate President Samdech Say Chhum at the meeting in Hanoi on Oct 25. 

Vibrant relations

Samdech Say Chhum’s visit proves that the friendship between the two Southeast Asian countries is vibrant, especially in the year marking the 55th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations.

This trip added to the list of high-ranking exchange visits paid by both sides after the two countries reopened their borders in the post-pandemic stage earlier this year, following the tours to Vietnam by Cambodian Deputy PM Men Sam An in June, by President of Cambodian National Assembly (NA) Samdech Heng Samrin in September, and a visit paid by Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son to Phnom Penh in August.

This year also marked the 45th anniversary of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s launching the campaign to topple the Khmer Rouge regime, the journey that Hun Sen described as "greatly supported by Vietnamese people."

 Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc meets Cambodian Senate President Samdech Say Chhum on Oct 25. 

Comprehensive partnership

During the three-day visit starting on October 24, Samdech Say Chhum also met General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Nguyen Phu Trong, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

The visit is anticipated to strengthen the long-standing friendship and extensive cooperation between the two nations.

The two sides evaluated the results of cooperation between respective legislative bodies.

The Vietnamese NA and the Cambodian Senate and NA have decided to cooperate closely in order to strengthen ties between their two governments and peoples. They also agreed to support one another at regional and international interparliamentary gatherings.

They commit to continuing all-level gatherings where professionals can exchange their expertise in enacting laws and implementing the Cooperation Agreements signed between the NAs in 2019.

Hue stated that Vietnam is prepared to work closely with Cambodia to develop its workforce, including at the tertiary and post-tertiary levels, and he recommended that the two nations expedite the establishment of the Faculty of Vietnamese Studies at the Royal University of Phnom Penh to raise the caliber of Cambodian students who will study in Vietnam.

Hue stated that Vietnam supports Cambodia in exercising its role as ASEAN and AIPA 2022 Chair and at international, ASEAN, regional, and sub-regional forums. He was confident that the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summits, as well as AIPA-43, scheduled for November in Phnom Penh, would be successful and significantly advance Cambodia's standing within the ASEAN Community.

In the meantime, a wide range of topics was discussed in meetings between the Cambodian Senate and other top Vietnamese officials, including security, border trade, border demarcation, which is 84% complete, and the search and repatriation of the remains of Vietnamese volunteers who died in Cambodia.

Samdech Say Chhum wanted to greet Hue at the 43rd General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA-43) in November to be hosted by Cambodia.

 Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Cambodian Senate President Samdech Say Chhum. 

Regarding economic ties, Vietnam is Cambodia’s biggest ASEAN investor and among the top investors. Additionally, it is Cambodia's main source of international tourists. In eight months of this year, two-way trade hit US$7.7 billion, up 19% on-year. The data in 2021 was $9.54 billion, up 79.1% on-year.

So far, Vietnam has run 198 investment projects in Cambodia with a total capital of $2.9 billion, maintaining the leading position in ASEAN and in the top 5 countries with the largest direct investments in Cambodia.

The cooperation is also strong in defense, security, border, education and training, science and technology, tourism, and people-to-people exchanges.

Hanoi and Phnom Penh are sister cities. The relations between the capital of Vietnam and the country's second-largest city and Cambodia's capital and largest city. In 2017, the Phnom Penh-Hanoi Friendship boulevard was open to the public to mark the relationship between the two twin towns.

The latest step was taken on September 5 when Tran Sy Thanh, the chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee, met with Khuong Sreng, the governor of Phnom Penh Municipality, to examine ways to strengthen relationships between the two capital cities. Thanh stated that Hanoi pledges to support the alliance between the two capitals in light of the close connections between the two cities and the unique linkages between Vietnam and Cambodia.

The mayor of Hanoi suggested that the two capital cities continue high-level interactions in the future for improved communication. He said Hanoi and Phnom Penh should hold investment conferences to strengthen economic cooperation and benefit businesses. These conferences should also examine high-potential areas for future cooperation, such as healthcare, the environment, and the preservation of urban, cultural, and historical heritage.

Thanh noted that cooperation between social groups and people-to-people diplomacy are the cornerstones of the two cities' long-lasting connection.

Meanwhile, Khuong Sreng emphasized the significance of the relationship, saying that just as the two nations had worked together in the past to achieve independence, they now needed to maintain close ties in terms of socioeconomic development, particularly given the unpredictability of regional and global situations.