The two delegations at the event

At the talks, the Vietnamese defense minister expressed his delight at meeting with Tea Banh, Cambodian Deputy PM, Defense Minister and co-chairing the first aforementioned exchange.

General Giang emphasized the special significance of the first Vietnam-Cambodia Border Defense Friendship Exchange since  the first time the two defense ministries hold a border defense friendship exchange at the defense minister level. More significantly, the exchange is held in this year which is selected to be the Vietnam - Cambodia and Cambodia - Vietnam Friendship Year and marks the 55th anniversary of the establishment of the two countries’ diplomatic ties (June 24, 1967 - 2022), and the 45th anniversary of Cambodian PM Hun Sen’s “Journey to the fall of the Pol Pot genocidal regime” (June 20, 1977 - 2022).

The Vietnamese defense chief expressed his emotion when receiving sincere, warm and friendly welcome of the local people and the Cambodian Ministry of National Defense during the activities taking place in Cambodia and affirmed that the sentiment came from the good tradition and close relationship between the authorities, peoples and militaries of the two countries.

A view of the talks

He highly praised the results of the 5th Vietnam - Cambodia Defense Policy Dialogue which was co-chaired by General Neang Phat, Permanent Secretary of State at the Cambodian Defense Ministry and Senior Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien, Vietnamese Deputy Defense Minister.

General Phan Van Giang confirmed that facing the complicated developments of situations in the region and the world and in the context that the militaries and peoples of the two countries are looking towards major commemorative activities within the "Vietnam-Cambodia and Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Year," the meeting, sharing of issues of common concern, exchange and agreement on major orientations in bilateral defense cooperation between leaders of the two defense ministries will be a motivation to strongly develop Vietnam-Cambodia defense cooperation to deserve to be one of the important pillars of the two countries’ relations of “Good neighbors; traditional friendship; and comprehensive, sustainable and long-lasting cooperation.”

Highly appreciating Vietnam’s initiative of organizing the exchange, Cambodian Deputy PM and Defense Minister Tea Banh stressed that this event holds a historical significance and is an opportunity for the two militaries and peoples to meet, exchange, and boost mutual understanding. The defense chief of Cambodia said that the two defense ministers’ meeting and visit to students of the two countries was also a chance to pass on the affection and good traditions of the two countries and two militaries.

The two ministers witness the signing of a cooperation agreement between the Vietnam Border Guard Command and the Cambodian Gendarmerie Command

During the talks, both sides underlined that Vietnam and Cambodia are  neighbors with time-honored friendship and relations. Over the past time, despite COVID-19-caused difficulties and complicated developments of regional and global situations, the relationship between the two countries in general and the bilateral defense ties in particular have developed fruitfully.

In addition, the two sides have actively and effectively carried out cooperation contents reached at the talks between the two defense ministers in Phnom Penh last December. They have also effectively exchanged information, jointly maintained security, order and social safety in border areas, and supported each other in COVID-19 prevention and control, thereby enhancing mutual understanding, trust, friendship and cooperation between the two peoples and militaries, and defeating hostile forces’ schemes of separating the solidarity and close-knit ties between the two countries.

Regarding future cooperation, the two sides agreed to focus their cooperation on promoting the leadership and direction over the joint implementation of cooperation contents regulated in the 5-year cooperation agreement protocol, annual cooperation plan, strengthening exchange of all-level delegations, deputy-minister-level defense policy dialogue, collaboration between military regions, arms and services, and border guard forces. They also reached agreement on enhancing information dissemination, political education, and supporting each other in regional and international multilateral forums.

Defense Minister Phan Van Giang presents a souvenir to his Cambodian counterpart Tea Banh.

The Vietnamese defense minister confirmed that the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense always supports Cambodia to successfully assume the role of ASEAN Chair in 2022. General Giang expressed his wish that Cambodian leaders at all levels will create favorable conditions and support the Vietnamese community in Cambodia to have stable living and working conditions and Vietnamese enterprises, including those under the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense, to do business in the country.

Minister Phan Van Giang expressed his belief that under the leadership of the Cambodian Government and Prime Minister Hun Sen, Cambodia will successfully organize the elections of communes and wards and fulfill the role as ASEAN Chair in 2022.

After the talks, the two ministers witnessed the signing of a cooperation agreement between the Vietnam Border Guard Command and the Cambodian Gendarmerie Command.

In the framework of the exchange, the two countries’ border defense forces held a meeting to review the twinning of villages. Earlier, the two sides effectively carried out joint health check-ups and social welfare programs.

Translated by Mai Huong