Following is the full text of the speech translated by VNA.
Exellency Samdech Heng Samrin, Honorary President of the Cambodian People’s Party, President of the National Assembly of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Chairman of the Solidarity Front for the Development of Cambodian Motherland National Council,
Exellency Leaders, former Leaders of the Party and State of Vietnam,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Cambodian and Vietnamese friends,
In the celebration of the 50th year of the Vietnam – Cambodia diplomatic ties, we are happy to be here today in this ceremony, with pride in the bright future of the “good neighbourliness, traditional friendship, comprehensive cooperation and long-term sustainability” between Vietnam and Cambodia.
On behalf of the leaders of the Party and Government and the people of Vietnam, I would like to warmly welcome to the high-ranking delegation from the Kingdom of Cambodia led by Samdech Heng Samrin, President of the National Assembly of Cambodia, Honorary President of the Cambodian People’s Party and Chairman of the Solidarity Front for Development of the Cabodian Motherland; delegates from the Cambodian Embassy; and Cambodian officials and students who are working and studying in Vietnam to the ceremony today.
The presence of Mr. President and ladies and gentlemen has brought us the feelings of close friendship with the people of Cambodia. On behalf of the Party, State, National Assembly and people of Vietnam, I would like to extend my warm greetings to Mr. President Heng Samrin and Cambodian delegates here as well as through Mr. President to King Norodom Sihamoni, leaders and people of Cambodia on our anniversary day.
I would also like to extend my sincere greetings to leaders and former leaders of the Party and State; representatives from ministries, departments and organisations at central and local levels; former Vietnamese experts and voluntary soldiers in Cambodia; relatives of war martyrs and invalids and people from all walks of life who are attending the event.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Vietnam and Cambodia are the two neighbouring countries with the traditional, long-standing relations. The relationship has been nurtured by generations of leaders and people of the two countries, and is our priceless estate.
On this day 50 years ago, the two countries officially set up diplomatic relations. This was a great event that marked a new chapter in the two countries’ relations. In a message sent to Head of State of Cambodia Norodom Sihanouk on June 23, 1967, President Ho Chi Minh said: “The establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries is a bright manifestation of the close friendship and solidarity in combat. It is a historic event in the relationship between Vietnam and Cambodia, a positive factor in the maintenance of peace in Indochina and Southeast Asia.”
On the basis of the long-standing relationship and the fight against colonialism, the foundation of the diplomatic ties created favourable conditions for people of Vietnam and Cambodia to continue standing side by side in the struggle for national liberation, and together, they won a historic victory in the spring of 1975. Unfortunately, Pol Pot’s forces betrayed the victory of the Cambodian people with an ambition of setting up a genocidal model named “Democratic Kampuchea” which killed millions of Cambodian people. In response to the pressing call of the Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation, the army and people of Vietnam once again continue to be on the side of the patriotic forces and people of Cambodia to liberate the country and save the Cambodian people from the Pol Pot genocidal regime, prevent the return of the genocidal regime and bring the recovery to Cambodia, for peace and stability in the region. The history of the humankind and the people of Vietnam and Cambodia is forever engraved with the victory on January 7, 1979.
On this special occasion, we express our sincere gratitude to the two peoples for their efforts and sacrifice in that lofty fight, particularly of heroic martyrs, war invalids, formers experts, former volunteer soldiers of Vietnam who did not spare their blood and bones and sacrificed themselves to consolidate the traditional solidarity and friendship between the two nations and peoples of Vietnam and Cambodia.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
After the general election in 1993, relations between Vietnam and Cambodia entered a new period which was in accordance with each country’s situation. Leaders and people of the two countries continued making efforts to solidify and promote the “good neighbourliness, traditional friendship, comprehensive cooperation, long-term sustainability.”
With that direction, the two countries’ relations have continually been reinforced and developed in all fields, bringing about practical benefits for the two peoples and actively contributing to peace, stability and cooperation in the region and the world. We satisfactorily realise that the two countries’ political relations have continued developing soundly. Senior leaders of the two countries have regularly made mutual visits and affirmed the resolve to together nurture the two countries’ solidarity, traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation. Cooperation between the two countries’ ministries, sectors and localities, with the establishment and increasingly effective implementation of cooperation mechanisms, has intensified cooperation in various areas in a more and more substantive manner. The cooperation between the two National Assemblies has continued to be strengthened and fostered in the fields of lawmaking and supervision, and in coordination at multilateral parliamentary forums. People-to-people diplomatic activities of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, the Parliamentary Friendship Groups, the Friendship Associations, and organisations of the public of the two countries have been carried out with numerous and diverse contents and forms, helping to improve the awareness of people, especially younger generations, of the traditional solidarity, friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance between the two nations and peoples.
Bilateral cooperation in security and national defence has been strengthened. The two sides pledged to implement policies not allowing any hostile forces to use the territory of one country to threaten security of the other country. On the basis of the treaties agreements and deals between the two nations’senior leaders, relevant agencies, authorities and people of the two countries’ border areas are working together to implement border demarcation and landmarker planting. The two sides have so far completed over 84 percent of the border demarcation and land marker planting work, and are determined to complete the work as soon as possible to build the two countries’ shared border line into one of peace, friendship, cooperation and sustainable development. The two nations’ leaders also pledged to continue facilitating the two countries’ people to live in each other’s territory, in line with the respective law.
The economic, trade and investment relations between the two countries have seen fast development and encouraging achievements. Currently, Vietnam has 190 investment projects in Cambodia, with a total registered capital of 2.89 billion USD, mostly in agriculture and forestry. Meanwhile, Cambodia runs 18 projects worth 58.125 million USD in Vietnam. Trade between the two nations has reached three billion USD a year in recent years. The two sides aim to raise the trade to five billions USD in the coming years.
Over the past years, Vietnam has continuously been the biggest tourists source of Cambodia, with 960,000 people in 2016 or 19 percent of the total international visitors to Cambodia. In 2016, Vietnam welcomed 210,000 Cambodian visitors, ranking 13th among Vietnam’s source markets. Cambodian leaders highly valued investment, and business activities of Vietnamese enterprises in the country, which have contributed significantly to social welfare, development and prosperity of Cambodia.
Priorities have been given to cooperation in education, culture, health care, telecommunication, among others. Vietnam offers hundreds of long-term scholarships to Cambodian students to study in Vietnam each year, while Cambodia also helps train Vietnamese students at the request of Vietnam’s ministries, sectors and localities. They are expected to be the future owners of each nation and to serve as bridges connecting the solidarity, friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the two nations in the future.
Numerous cultural and art exchanges have been constantly organised, particularly in border localities. With the humanitarian spirit, Vietnam has regularly organised delegations of voluntary doctors to Cambodia to provide free health check-ups and medicines for local people. Cambodian patients enjoy the same fees for health examination and treatment in Vietnam as locals.
As from January 1, 2017, subcribers of Vietnam’s mobile network Viettel enjoy domestic telecom charges (without internaitonal roaming fees) when making phone calls to subscribers of Cambodia’s Metfone and vice versa, thus facilitating communications for the two countries’ people.
In implementing the foreign policy of multilateralisation and diversification of international relations, the two nations have coordinated closely at international and regional forums, such as the Cambodia – Laos – Vietnam (CLV), the Cambodia – Laos – Myanmar – Vietnam (CLMV), the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS), ASEAN, ASEM, the United Nations, among others, contributing to enhancing the reputation and status of each nations in the region and the world.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Party, State and people of Vietnam warmly welcome great achievements that the fraternal Cambodian people, under the sound rule of King Norodom Sihamoni and leadership of the Senate, National Assembly and Royal Government of Cambodia in which the Cambodian People’s Party plays a crucial role, has scored in the recent years.
As a close neighbour of Cambodian people, the Vietnamese fellows firmly believe that the Cambodian people will continue achieving greater successes for the Kingdom of Cambodia of peace, stability, development and prosperity.
For their part, over the past 50 years of the establishment of Vietnam-Cambodia relations, the Vietnamese people are very proud of victory in the national liberation and reunification cause and delivery of international commitments, which were of historical significance to the renovation process initiated and led by the Communist Party of Vietnam. Over the past years, Vietnam’s political-social climate has been stable while the economy has recorded high growth, culture and education has progressed in many aspects. Lives of people from all walks of life have improved significantly, national defence and security have been strengthened, external relations have seen new leaps, thereby increasingly improving Vietnam’s prestige and role on international arena.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Looking back the past 50-year path, in defiance of ups and downs in history, the traditional solidarity, friendship and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Cambodia have been ceaselessly reinforced and developed, becoming an invaluable, sacred and sustainable asset of the two nations.
We believe that how the global and regional developments have changed, Vietnam and Cambodia will further intensify bilateral solidarity, traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation, make such relationship everlasting for the benefit of the Cambodian and Vietnamese people. It is not only a noble responsibility and obligation of ours today but also generations of leaders and people of the two nations in the future.
On the occasion, on behalf of the leaders of the Party, State, National Assembly and people of Vietnam, I would like to express my deepest and sincere gratitude for valuable support that former King Norodom Sihanouk and incumbent King Norodom Sihamoni, generations of leaders and people of Cambodia have provided for the Vietnamese people in the past national liberation cause as well as the national construction and defence at present.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Creator blesses the two countries with the Mekong River with alluvia cherishing immense paddy fields on the two banks, and fishes and shrimps enriching the two peoples. That river has also incessantly witnessed close-knit relationship between our two nations. On this formal occasion, I wish that the solidarity, traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Cambodia would flow like the great Mekong Delta and forever be the root of peace and prosperity of our two nations.
Thank you very much.