In an interview granted to reporters of the People's Army Newspaper before the first Vietnam – Cambodia Border Defense Friendship Exchange, the Vietnamese Deputy Defense Minister affirmed that building, maintaining, and protecting a borderline of stability, peace, friendship, cooperation, and development is one of the concerns of Vietnam and its neighboring countries. To achieve this important target, the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense and the defense ministries of neighboring countries of China, Laos, and Cambodia have co-hosted border defense friendship exchanges.
The border defense friendship exchange is a new and creative model, which is always given special importance by the Central Military Commission and the Ministry of National Defense. Activities during the exchange have diversified cooperation forms and mechanisms, which have been effectively carried out by defense ministries and military units of Vietnam and neighboring countries.
Senior Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien recalled that in recent years, exchange programs and twinning models have been implemented at all levels. They include the Vietnam – China Border Defense Friendship Exchange, the first Vietnam – Laos Border Defense Friendship Exchange at the defense ministry level, the "Borderline of Friendship" Exchange, and the Vietnam – Laos – Cambodia Border Defense Friendship Exchange at the Border Guard Command level, among others.
The success of those above-mentioned events have proved their effectiveness in strengthening friendship and promoting actual cooperation between localities, people, and border defense forces of Vietnam and its neighboring countries, contributing to building a borderline of peace, friendship, cooperation, and development.
Evaluating the cooperation between Vietnamese and Cambodian border defense forces over the past time, the defense leader said that cooperation between border defense forces of the two countries has been a spotlight. He added that the event has actively contributed to building a borderline of friendship, stability, and development and strengthening the bilateral defense cooperation. The Vietnamese and Cambodian border defense forces have coordinated in carrying out agreements on border and border gate management, regularly conducted joint patrols and exchanged information, prevented illegal border crossing, combated crime, and created favorable conditions for people to live and develop economy. The two sides have effectively conducted various practical activities and models, including twinning model between border posts. More significantly, Vietnamese border guard units have adopted 102 Cambodian children in border areas.
Amid the complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, together with cooperating and effectively managing border paths to prevent SARS-CoV-2 from entering their countries, the two sides have presented medical supplies to help each other in the fight against the pandemic.
Talking about the significance of the event, Senior Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien said that 2022 was selected to be the "Vietnam – Cambodia, Cambodia – Vietnam Friendship Year" to mark the 55th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic ties of the two countries (June 24, 1967 – 2022). To prepare for the event, the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense has developed a plan on organizing 30 activities with Cambodian sides. One of the important and symbolic events is the first Vietnam – Cambodia Border Defense Friendship Exchange, which will be held in Vietnam's Binh Phuoc province and Cambodia's Kratie province at the defense ministry-level.
Within the program, varied practical activities will be held to contribute to strengthening friendship between the two countries. Official activities include border marker saluting ceremony, tree planting, observance of joint patrol of border defense forces of the two countries, inauguration of the Vietnam – Cambodia Military-Civilian Friendship Medical Station, and visit to Vietnamese and Cambodian schools.
During the exchange, the two defense ministers will hold talks to share views on regional and international situation, evaluate outcomes of the bilateral defense cooperation, and put forward orientation for bilateral defense cooperation in the coming time.
Within the framework of the exchange, the 5th Defense Policy Dialogues at the deputy ministerial-level will be held. This is an annual event of the two defense ministries to share views on regional and international issues of mutual concern and agree on orientation for the bilateral defense cooperation, which will serve as a basis for the signing of defense cooperation agreements between the two countries.
On the occasion, the medical forces of Vietnam and Cambodia will work together to provide health check-ups for more than 3,000 Vietnamese and Cambodian people living in border areas, present scholarships to needy students, and hand over breeding cows to needy locals.
Translated by Tran Hoai
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