| King Norodom Sihamoni (R) welcomed Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in Phnom Penh during his visit in December 2011. (Photo: VOV) |
Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh made this affirmation in an article to mark the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and Cambodia (June 24). VOV online presents an excerpt from his article.
Vietnam and Cambodia established diplomatic ties on June 24, 1967 during the Vietnamese resistance war against foreign invaders.
The establishment demonstrated Cambodia’s strong support for Vietnam in its fight for national liberation and unification under the leadership of President Ho Chi Minh.
It also showed Vietnam’s wholehearted support for Cambodia’s struggle to achieve an independent, neutral state under the reign of former King Norodom Sihanouk.
Both countries agreed to observe 2012 as Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Year during Vietnamese Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s visit to Cambodia in December 2011.
Foreign Minister Minh described the past 45 years as a special period in the history of Vietnam-Cambodia relations, saying both sides have stood shoulder to shoulder to cooperate and assist each other in their respective causes of national liberation, freedom, independence, and the pursuit of happiness and prosperity.
He recalled the Cambodian Revolution’s resounding victory on January 7, 1979, supported by volunteer Vietnamese soldiers and experts, who helped Cambodians escape the genocidal Pol Pot regime and begin to rebuild the country.
Relations between Vietnam and Cambodia entered into a new period after the 1991 Paris Peace Accord and the 1993 General Elections in Cambodia. Over the years, their bilateral ties have developed well in various areas under the motto of ‘good neighbourliness, traditional friendship, comprehensive, and long-term stability’, bringing practical benefits for both sides.
The two countries have maintained regular exchanges of high-level and local visits, showing their resolve to work closely together to cement their bilateral relationship, considering it an important factor behind the success of each country’s national construction and defence.
Reciprocal high-level visits, especially the Vietnam visit by King Norodom Sihamoni (in June 2010), and the Cambodia visits by State President Nguyen Minh Triet (in August 2010) and Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong (in December 2011) were very significant to raising bilateral relations to a new level, deepening the fine neighbourliness, solidarity, friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the two nations.
Minh recalled King-father Norodom Sihanouk, saying ‘Cambodia and Vietnam are inseparable and this valuable relationship should be enhanced along with the national development and construction of both countries’.
He noted that the two countries have cooperated closely through the Joint Commission for Economic, Cultural, Scientific and Technological Cooperation, the cooperation and development conference of border provinces, and the investment promotion conference held annually.
Several Vietnamese localities that do not share a border with Cambodia have established a sisterhood and signed cooperation agreements with their Cambodian counterparts. Among them are Ho Chi Minh City-Phnom Penh City, and Haiphong port city and Sihanouk Ville.
Economic, trade and investment cooperation has grown and flourished over the years. Two-way trade increased sharply from just US$130-150 million in 1997-1999 to US$1.2 billion in 2007, US$1.6 billion in 2008 and US$2.8 billion in 2011. Both countries are aiming to raise their trade value to US$5 billion within the next five years.
Currently, Vietnam has more than 100 investment projects operating in Cambodia with a total capitalisation of more than US$2.2 billion. These projects are focused primarily on telecommunications, banking, energy, rubber plantations, and farm produce processing.
Relevant agencies of the two countries are speeding up border demarcation and landmark planting to complete the work on schedule. The June 24, 2012 inauguration of border marker 314, the final one on the Vietnam-Cambodia land border, in the presence of Prime Ministers Nguyen Tan Dung of Vietnam and Hun Sen of Cambodia, demonstrates the strong determination of the two countries’ leaders and people to create a peaceful and friendly common borderline for mutual cooperation and development.
Both countries have created favourable conditions for their nationals to live, work, and contribute to the communities in which they live.
Progress has also been made in developing people-to-people diplomacy and tourism. In 2011, nearly 600,000 Vietnamese tourists visited Cambodia, making Vietnam the country with the most foreign arrivals in Cambodia.
According to FM Minh, cooperation in education and training is high priority in bilateral relations. Vietnam and Cambodia have granted hundreds of scholarships to students, post-graduates, researchers and officials from State agencies every year.
They have also organised Cultural Weeks in their respective countries on the rotation basis to promote mutual understanding between their peoples.
The two countries have provided mutual support and assistance at regional and international forums such as the Cambodia-Laos and Vietnam (CLV) and Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam cooperation mechanisms, the Ayeyarwaddy-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS), the Greater Mekong Sub-region, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and the United Nations.
Cambodia is resuming the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2012 and Vietnam will help Cambodia fulfil this task, said Minh. VietNamNet/VOV