Cambodia and Vietnam yesterday signed a number of documents bolstering relations, including a Memorandum of Understanding on $25 million in aid to expand Cambodia’s National Assembly building and revisions of two articles of an agreement on infrastructure.
Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong yesterday morning held a series of meetings with National Assembly president Heng Samrin and Senate president Say Chhum before heading to the Peace Palace where he met Prime Minister Hun Sen.
After a brief meeting, Mr Nguyen and Mr Hun Sen witnessed the signing of five MoU and protocols between both nations.
The agreements included an addendum on the Revision of Article 6 and Article 17 of the Agreement between Cambodia and Vietnam on Waterway Transportation and a Protocol Amendment to the Protocol for Implementation of the Agreement on Road Transportation.
Other agreements included an MoU for a $25 million grant aid for the National Assembly’s secretariat building, Bilateral Trade Facilitation on Preferential Tariff for 2019-2020 and Tourism Cooperation 2019-2021 between Cambodia’s Tourism Ministry and Vietnam Airlines.
Eang Sophalleth, an assistant to Mr Hun Sen, said after the meeting that Mr Nguyen also congratulated Cambodia on achieving economic development, political stability and diplomatic relations.
“He also told [Mr Hun Sen] that the purpose of his trip is to expand and strengthen cooperation between both countries,” he said “Mr Nguyen said it is also to review what both countries have done together in the past and set directions to develop the relationship between both nations.”
In response, Mr Hun Sen urged both nations to continue strengthening their good relations through government to government and people to people exchanges, Mr Sophalleth said.
Mr Hun Sen also congratulated the Vietnamese government for hosting the upcoming summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, Mr Sophalleth added.
A joint statement released yesterday said King Norodom Sihamoni and Cambodian leaders highlighted the “historic significance” of Mr Nguyen’s first-ever state visit to Cambodia.
“In an atmosphere of solidarity, traditional friendship, mutual understanding and trust, the leaders of the two countries briefed each other on their countries’ current developments and had in-depth exchange of views on the bilateral cooperation as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest,” the statement said.
“The two sides rejoiced at the excellent growth of the friendship and comprehensive cooperation between Cambodia and Vietnam over the past years, which had contributed to maintaining peace, stability and brought about practical benefits to both peoples.” it added.
The statement said the Cambodian side expressed deep gratitude for the “strong support and assistance” extended to the Kingdom by the Vietnamese leaders and people in the past and at present.
“The two sides agreed that protecting, preserving and developing the bilateral relations of ‘good neighborliness, traditional friendship, comprehensive cooperation and long-lasting stability’ on the basis of the principles agreed in the previous Cambodia-Vietnam Joint Statements were common responsibilities of the two countries and their peoples, for the sustainable development and bright future of both countries, as well as for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.” it said.
Both sides agreed to strengthen and deepen their political relations and increase the effectiveness of bilateral cooperation mechanisms.
“The two sides agreed to promote and improve the efficiency of economic, cultural, educational, medical, scientific and technological cooperation on the basis of each country’s potentials and strengths,” the statement said. “At the same time, both sides also agreed to take measures to improve the investment environment and strive to bring the two-way trade turnover to $5 billion at the earliest after reaching $ 4.7 billion in 2018.”