Ambassador Chay Navuth began his term of office in Vietnam in a “very special” context when not only Vietnam and Cambodia but also the whole world was struggling to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. During that difficult time, the good neighborliness, traditional friendship, and comprehensive and long-term sustainable cooperation between Vietnam and Cambodia, which had been “already very prominent,” shined even more brightly.

Ambassador Chay Navuth (left) at a ceremony to present medical supplies of the Vietnamese Government and people to assist the Cambodian Government and people in controlling the COVID-19 on May 20, 2021

According to Ambassador Chay Navuth, the relationship between Vietnam and Cambodia illustrates the saying “A friend in need is a friend indeed.” The two countries gave both spiritual and material support to each other to successfully control the pandemic.

Sharing with the People's Army Newspaper, Ambassador Chay Navuth said, “I also want to emphasize the trust, mutual understanding, and solidarity among the three countries of Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam living together on the Indochinese peninsula. That tradition originated from the past and lasts until today, and I firmly believe that it will continue in the future.”

The diplomat said that what he has learnt from his Vietnamese colleagues over the past years has consolidated the image of the country with tradition of industriousness, intelligence, creativity, and “dare to think, dare to do” spirit. Colleagues at the Ministry of National Defense, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Association, many other ministries and industries, and Vietnamese staff at the Embassy have supported, helped, and encouraged him a lot. “Without them, I would not have been able to complete my duties,” said Ambassador Chay Navuth.

That is his impression of present Vietnamese people. In the past, the Cambodian Ambassador was impressed with the image of “friendly and gentle faces” of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers. Ambassador Chay Navuth affirmed that without Vietnamese volunteer soldiers, “the Cambodian people, including myself, would not have been able to live in the world.”

The Cambodian diplomat still remembers the time when Vietnamese volunteer soldiers were stationed opposite his family's house in Phnom Penh decades ago. With the spirit of self-discipline, regardless of rainy or sunny days or harsh weather conditions, Vietnamese volunteer soldiers still did exercise every morning. His habit of getting up early and doing exercise in the morning was formed from that. “Almost every morning I cycle for about an hour around the West Lake. Many people choose the West Lake to do morning exercise, so I naturally have more companions,” said Ambassador Chay Navuth.

Nearly three years in his current position, Ambassador Chay Navuth has celebrated the lunar New Year in Vietnam twice. The occasions partly helped him know about the meaning and beauty of the traditional Tet holiday of the Vietnamese people. That is reunion. “Whether they live near or far from their hometown, the Vietnamese people try to be with their families on the lunar New Year. Wherever they go, they always remember their families. That has a very special significance. I also noticed that the living standards of the Vietnamese people have improved markedly. By the way, I would like to express my admiration for the Communist Party of Vietnam as well as the Vietnamese fathers and mothers who have raised and trained generations of excellent citizens for the country,” said Ambassador Chay Navuth.

On the occasion of the lunar New Year, Ambassador Chay Navuth wished the Vietnamese Party, State, and people good health, safety, and prosperity.

Translated by Tran Hoai