Top Vietnamese, Cambodian legislators hold talks

Chairwoman of the Vietnamese National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan held talks with her Cambodian counterpart Samdech Heng Samrin following an official welcome ceremony for the latter in Hanoi on May 28 afternoon.
Chairwoman of the Vietnamese National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (R) welcomes her Cambodian counterpart Samdech Heng Samrin (Source: VNA)
Chairwoman of the Vietnamese National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (R) welcomes her Cambodian counterpart Samdech Heng Samrin (Source: VNA)

At the talks, both leaders agreed on the need to step up delegation and people-to-people exchanges and maintain coordination in carrying out signed agreements. They also highlighted the importance of regularly educating the two countries’ people, especially younger generations, on the solidarity, friendship, and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Cambodia.

The leaders underlined that Vietnam and Cambodia have paid attention to fostering collaboration in economy, trade, and investment, reflected in bilateral trade reaching 4.7 billion USD last year, a 23.7 percent rise year-on-year.

Heng Samrin, who is on an official visit to Vietnam from May 28-30, affirmed the Cambodian legislature’s strong support for the two governments’ efforts to connect their economies to strive for US$ 5 billion in bilateral trade by 2020; educate younger generations on maintaining and promoting the bilateral fine relations; intensify people-to-people exchanges and cooperation in defence, security, counterterrorism, and information sharing; and to orientate border areas towards the building of a peaceful, friendship, and developing border line.

He took the occasion to thank the Vietnamese Party, State, and people for supporting Cambodia in all circumstances, particularly in helping the country escape from the Pol Pot genocidal regime in the past and boosting national development at present.

Ngan, in turn, affirmed that Vietnam has long considered Cambodia’s security and defence as an important factor in Vietnam’s own security and defence.

She asked the Cambodian side to create favourable conditions for the search for and repatriation of remains of volunteer Vietnamese soldiers and experts who laid down their lives in Cambodia, as well as the construction, restoration, and repair of Vietnam-Cambodia friendship monuments in the country.

The leaders expressed their delight at the achievements gained by Vietnam and Cambodia in border demarcation and border marker planting as 84 percent of the work has been completed.

For borderline sections that have yet to be demarcated, the top Vietnamese legislator requested that both sides continue discussions to seek out mutually fair and suitable measures acceptable to both sides.

She spoke highly of Cambodia’s close coordination in granting legal documents to Vietnamese Cambodians, and urged its relevant agencies and localities to soon issue specific and clear regulations on the rights and obligations of those holding foreign registration cards. 

Regarding the resettlement of Vietnamese people in the Tonle Sap Lake, Ngan  asked the Cambodian side to pay attention to ensuring the lives, interests, and assets of relocated people. She affirmed that Vietnam will join hands with Cambodia to provide support for them to soon stabilise their lives.

The NA Chairwoman also stressed that Vietnam hopes to continue cooperating with Cambodia in managing and using the Mekong River water source sustainably, exploiting hydropower potential on the Mekong River appropriately and effectively, and ensuring water source and environmental safety and security.

For regional cooperation, Ngan suggested both nations maintain close coordination in boosting cooperation initiatives suitable for their interests and those of the entire region. 

She voiced her hope to receive Cambodia’s support and coordination to help Vietnam fulfil its role as ASEAN Chair and ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) Chair in 2020, and maintain the ASEAN’s intra-bloc solidarity and central role. Ngan confirmed that Vietnam is willing to help Cambodia organise the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit and the Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership (ASEP) Meeting next year.

For parliamentary collaboration, she asked both legislative bodies to facilitate the organisation of meetings of young parliamentarians and female parliamentarians this year.

The two leaders affirmed to continue supporting each other in hosting international parliamentary meetings such as the AIPA, ASEP, Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF), and Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU).

Heng Samrin also took the occasion to invite his Vietnamese counterpart to pay an official visit to Cambodia at an appropriate time. The latter accepted the invitation, adding that the visit will be arranged through the diplomatic channel.

After the talks, the leaders signed a cooperation agreement between the two legislatures and witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the Vietnamese NA Office and the Cambodian NA Secretariat.

In the evening of the same day, Ngan hosted a banquet in honour of Heng Samrin and the Cambodian delegation.