President Phúc meets Cambodian King, Prime Minister

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President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc (left) meets King of Cambodia Norodom Sihamoni at the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh on Tuesday, beginning his official visit to Cambodia. VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất

PHNOM PENH — President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc spoke with King of Cambodia Norodom Sihamoni in Phnom Penh on Tuesday as part of his official visit to the Southeast Asian country at the King’s invitation.

The meeting took place after a welcoming ceremony at the Royal Palace.

Expressing his warmest welcome to the Vietnamese President, King Sihamoni said he highly valued the visit, which conveyed the Vietnamese Government’s and President Phúc’s appreciation towards the close friendship between Việt Nam and Cambodia.

He thanked the Vietnamese Government and people for helping Cambodia overthrow the genocidal regime, and for always supporting his country during its development in modern times.

Phúc said he was happy to be back in Cambodia as Việt Nam’s President, and thanked the King for the invitation and the thoughtful reception. He congratulated Cambodia on its achievements under the wise reign of King Sihamoni, which laid a solid foundation for it to become a middle-income country by 2030, and a high-income one by 2050.

He emphasised that the Vietnamese Government and people always appreciate, value and remember the help and support of the late King Norodom Sihanouk, King Sihamoni, other Cambodian leaders and its people to Việt Nam during its fight for independence, and nowadays throughout different stages of development.

The two leaders were elated that the friendship and connections between the two countries were constantly consolidating and getting better. Despite being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, new, positive developments were recorded in their multifaceted cooperation in the fields of politics, diplomacy, security, national defence, investment, trade, economics, transport, and education. Their close collaboration and support to each other to fight the pandemic once again reflected the tradition of mutual affection and care between the two nations, they said.

They also said celebrations would be held in their respective countries at the beginning of next year to mark the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

President Phúc passed on Party General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng’s regards to King Sihamoni and invited the King to visit Việt Nam at the earliest time possible.

The President also had a meeting with Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen yesterday, during which they talked about strengthening economic relations between Việt Nam and Cambodia.

They witnessed the signing of seven cooperation documents and agreements in the fields of public security, national defence, border security, border trade, education, and justice.

The two leaders agreed that trade and investment were the highlights of their economic cooperation in the past year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. This was reflected by the fact that, in the first 10 months of this year alone, two-way turnover reached approximately US$8 billion, up nearly 90 per cent over the same period last year. Việt Nam’s investment in Cambodia also increased sharply with a total capital of nearly $90 million, nearly five times higher than the same period last year.

President Phúc and Prime Minister Hun Sen stressed that they would continue to deepen bilateral cooperation in security-defence and border security, as well as in searching and repatriating the remains of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and experts in Cambodia.

The two also agreed to promote connections between the two countries, especially in transportation, telecommunications and energy, as well as efforts to soon complete a master plan to connect the two economies by 2030. They will also make efforts to ensure vehicles and goods can go through land and waterway border gates while ensuring COVID-19 prevention, and push forward the signing of a border trade agreement, and negotiations towards mutual recognition of vaccine passports or COVID-19 immunisation certificates.

On the same day, President Phúc also met with President of the Cambodian Senate Say Chhum, President of the Cambodian National Assembly Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin, and Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Men Sam An. VNS

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