Vietnamese Defense Minister General Ngo Xuan Lich, Lao Defense Minister General Chansamone Chanyalath, and Cambodian Defense Minister General Tea Banh co-chaired the ceremony.

Also present at the meeting were leaders of Vietnamese central agencies and ministries as well as senior military officers from the Vietnamese Defense Ministry.

Speaking at the ceremony, General Ngo Xuan Lich congratulated General Tea Banh on receiving the First-Class Independence Order, a precious honor given by Vietnam’s Party and State.

He said that in 2017 the Vietnamese Party and State presented the Ho Chi Minh Order to General Chansamone Chanyalath for his great contributions to and achievements in strengthening the special solidarity and friendship between Vietnam and Laos.

General Lich speaking at the event

On behalf of the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense, General Lich expressed his honor to receive the noble rewards of the Lao State and the Kingdom of Cambodia and thanked the Lao and Cambodian leaders for their special concern for troops of the Vietnam People's Army.

The Vietnamese Defense Minister affirmed that over the past years, defense cooperation among the three countries has been increasingly developed and continues to be an important pillar in relations among Vietnam and Laos and Vietnam and Cambodia, thus contributing to the stability and development of each country.

Regarding the future of the relationships among the three Indochinese countries, General Lich noted that the situation in the region and world will continue witnessing sophisticated developments, especially issues related to territorial sovereignty, climate change, terrorism, transnational crimes, and hostile forces. Although each country is facing new opportunities and challenges, with the close relationship that has been nurtured by generations of the leaders and people of the three countries, General Lich hoped that Vietnam-Lao-Cambodia relations in general and the three countries' defense cooperation in particular would further develop in the coming time.

"This is also the foundation that contributes positively to the cause of national construction and defense of each country, and also peace, stability and development in the region and world," he added.

Authorized by the State President of Vietnam, Vietnamese Defense Minister General Ngo Xuan Lich presents the First Class Independence Order to General Tea Banh of Cambodia.

For his part, General Tea Banh thanked the Vietnamese Party, State and the Ministry of National Defense for awarding him the First-Class Independence Medal. He highly praised the Vietnam People's Army's achievements gained under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam over the past 75 years. The Cambodian guest stressed that the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces has always acknowledged and paid tribute to the Vietnamese troops' sacrifices in helping the Cambodian people defeat the Pol Pot genocidal regime, and build up the military in the current context.

The Award of the First-Class Friendship Order to the two Vietnamese generals and other individuals expresses the Cambodian people’s gratitude to the sacrifices of the Vietnam People's Army in supporting its friend in the renewal and development process and contributes to consolidating and strengthening the two countries' long-lasting relationship and comprehensive cooperation.

Similarly, speaking at the ceremony, General Chansamone Chanyalath affirmed that the Lao Army and people are aware that all of the accomplishments of the Lao revolutionary cause in the past and in the current construction and defense cause are thanks to the solidarity and valuable support of the Vietnam People's Army and people.

He also expressed his thanks to the Vietnamese Party, Government, military and people for their precious sentiment to the Lao Army and people.

Authorized by the State President of Vietnam, Vietnamese Defense Minister General Ngo Xuan Lich presented the First Class Independence Order to General Tea Banh of Cambodia.

Representing the President of Laos, General Chansamone Chanyalath awarded the First-class Order of Freedom to General Ngo Xuan Lich and the Second-class Order of Freedom to General Luong Cuong of Vietnam.

With their contributions to the time-tested friendship and all-round cooperation between the peoples and militaries of Vietnam and Cambodia, Gen. Lich and Gen. Cuong were also granted with the First-class Friendship Orders of the Kingdom of Cambodia by Gen. Tea Banh.

Translated by Lam Anh