Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh and Cambodian Deputy PM and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn on December 22 co-chaired the 18th meeting
of the Vietnam-Cambodia Joint Commission for Economic, Cultural, Scientific and Technological Cooperation held via video conference.
Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh delivers the opening remarks at the online meeting on December 22
The two officials were glad to report that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Cambodia has been continuing to flourish, as mutual trust was increasingly consolidated via phone talks, high-level online talks and other bilateral mechanisms, and cooperation between sectors and localities promoted.
The two sides had also supported each other in the fight against COVID-19 and maintained undisrupted trade along the border between the two countries, they said.
In the first 10 months of 2020, bilateral trade hit 4.22 billion USD and is likely to reach 5 billion USD by the end of this year.
Vietnam had nine new investment projects in Cambodia, bringing the total active projects in the country to 186 with registered capital reaching 2.76 billion USD.
The two sides had discussed extensively the results of the implementation of agreements and cooperation programmes since the 17th meeting of the Joint Commission in the fields of politics-diplomacy, defence-security, trade-investment, culture, education-training, other areas of cooperation as well as cooperation at regional and international forums.
The two sides also talked about the directions and specific measures to deepen the comprehensive cooperation between the two countries.
Accordingly, the two sides agreed to continue to maintain talks, high-level consultation and bilateral mechanisms, effectively implement the signed agreements, and coordinate in bilateral activities on foreign affairs in 2021; actively educate the public – especially the younger generation – in the two countries about the friendship and the fruits of cooperation between Vietnam and Cambodia; coordinate the holding of important events; implement the Protocol and the Cooperation Plan on Defence and Security; expedite the search and repatriation of the remains of Vietnamese volunteers and experts who sacrificed their lives in Cambodia.
Cambodian Deputy PM and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn addresses the online meeting on December 22
The two sides also agreed to maintain and facilitate economic, trade and investment cooperation activities, implement economic and trade cooperation agreements – including Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement and Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement; to sign the border trade agreement and coordinate to develop the management regulations of border markets; create favourable conditions and remove difficulties and problems for businesses of the two countries; promote cooperation in industrial activities, development of transport infrastructure, and sectors including health, labour, culture, sport and tourism; to encourage the ministries, sectors and localities of the two countries to strengthen cooperation and mutual support.
The two sides welcomed the signing and ratification of two important documents on the Vietnam-Cambodia border, including the Supplementary Treaty to the 1985 Treaty on the Delimitation of National Boundaries and the 2005 Supplementary Treaty, and the protocol on land border demarcation and marker planting between Cambodia and Vietnam.
The two sides agreed to continually enhance the effectiveness of border management and protection, and to exchange information and deal with emerging issues in the spirit of cooperation and friendship.
The two sides agreed to continue to discuss and have measures to help people of Vietnamese origin in Cambodia on legal documents, and fulfilling the requirements to become Khmer citizens and create favourable conditions for people of Vietnamese origin residing at Cambodia’s Tonlé Sap Lake area to resettle, stabilise their lives and integrate into local communities.
The officials noted with satisfaction the effective cooperation between the two countries at regional and international forums, especially within the ASEAN cooperation framework, subregional cooperation frameworks, including cooperation in efficient and sustainable use of water resources in the Mekong River.
Vietnam highly appreciated Cambodia's support and cooperation this year when Vietnam assumes the role as Chair of ASEAN, and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 term.
The Vietnamese side pledged to support Cambodia in hosting the 13th Asia-Europe Summit in 2021.
At the end of the meeting, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh and Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn signed the memorandum on the agreement of the meeting.
Under the agreement, the 19th meeting of the Vietnam-Cambodia Joint Commission will be held in 2021 in Cambodia.
Vietnam-Cambodia relations touch “historic milestone”: Cambodian official
Vietnam and Cambodia has reached a “historic milestone” after they officially exchanged the documents ratifying the “Supplementary Treaty to the 1985 Treaty on the Delimitation of National Boundaries and the 2005 Supplementary Treaty, known as the 2019 Supplementary Treaty, said Koy Pisey, Vice Chairwoman of the Cambodia Border Affairs Committee (CBAC).
The exchange was made during a ceremony after the 18th meeting of the Vietnam-Cambodia Joint Commission for Economic, Cultural, Scientific and Technological Cooperation, which was held via video conference on December 22.
In its article published on December 23, Cambodia’s Khmer Times quoted Pisey as saying that after the two nations completed 84 percent of border demarcation and marker planting, the Cambodian National Assembly and Senate approved along with His Majesty the King who signed the royal decree to promulgate it this year.
According to Pisey, based on international procedure, the two sides had informed to each other that they have completed their internal procedures.
Pisey said the Joint Committee on Land Border Demarcation and Marker Planting of the two countries will continue to negotiate the rest of the 16 percent of border demarcation.
“We appreciate past efforts. It is a difficult task but we have achieved our goals. We are proud of this work because we cannot let this work continue to cause difficulties,” she said.
The official added that the two sides work together to complete this work as a permanent legacy for future generations.
Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Le Hoai Trung emphasised that the event contributed to consolidating and lifting the Vietnam-Cambodia relations to a new height.
It marked a great victory for both countries as well as a historical milestone in the process of over 36 years of the settlement of land border issues between the two nations, demonstrating the motto of “good neighbours, traditional friendship, comprehensive cooperation, long-term sustainability” agreed upon by their senior leaders, he said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said the event that these two legal documents coming into effect demonstrates the resolve and goodwill of both Vietnam and Cambodia in jointly dealing with common border issues.
The 2019 documents, along with the 1985 Treaty on the Delimitation of National Boundaries and the 2005 Supplementary Treaty, will serve as the fundamental legal framework for managing and developing the Vietnam-Cambodia land border in the new context; firmly safeguarding security, defence, and social order and safety in border areas; fostering development cooperation, friendship exchange, and improvement of living standards of residents in border areas; and building the Vietnam-Cambodia land border into a border of peace, stability, cooperation, and sustainable development, thus contributing to the reinforcement of ASEAN’s solidarity and the promotion of the bloc’s prestige and stature in the world./. VNA