Prime Minister Hun Sen, in his capacity as president of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), had a meeting with Nguyen Phu Trong, the leader of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), in Hanoi over the weekend to discuss the situations for each party.

“This summit was an important event to further enhance the relationship of good neighbourliness, good traditional friendship and strong, comprehensive and stable long-lasting cooperation between the states, parties and peoples of the two countries,” said a CPP press release on February 18.

The press release added that the two sides had exchanged views on the regional and global situation and the results of the good relations between their two countries, and they outlined cooperation direction for the future.

Moreover, they reaffirmed the cooperation between the three former French-Indochina colonies – Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos – and pledged to continue their good traditional relations and to protect all three nations’ independence, peace, stability and development.

The two leaders stressed the importance of Cambodia-Vietnam relations strategically for the security and national development of each country and for the peace and stability of the region and beyond.

They also supported each other and agreed to further strengthen and expand political, economic, trade and investment ties.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh applauded and highly evaluated the cooperation in all priority sectors and also raised requests for further support in the direction of the cooperation of the two countries, according to the press release.

The two sides agreed to further promote relations at all levels between their national assemblies, ministries, institutions and local authorities.

At the same time, the two leaders also mentioned the importance of providing training to young people to take turns to learn and gain experience from each other and contribute to the strengthening and expansion of ties between the two countries.

Minister of National Defence Tea Banh also paid a courtesy call to the Vietnamese prime minister over the weekend. Pham congratulated Cambodia on its achievements in the Covid-19 fight, socio-economic development, the recently-held 5th mandate commune council elections, the hosting of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) in 2022 and the strengthened bilateral cooperation between the Cambodian and Vietnamese armies.

Tea Banh thanked Vietnam for facilitating the successful repatriation of the remains of 49 Cambodian soldiers to Cambodia and also thanked the Vietnamese government, army and people for their willingness to support the Kingdom in hosting the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

Cambodian Institute for Democracy president Pa Chanroeun said that strengthening relations and cooperation with Cambodia’s neighbours is important to achieving their common development goals.

“Good relations with neighbouring countries can help reduce conflicts and enhance cooperation. But the cooperation must ensure independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and be in line with the principles of the national Constitution,” he said.

Chanroeun added that Vietnam and Cambodia should increase cooperation based on strengthening law enforcement while respecting sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence, which would lead to a stronger and mutually beneficial relationship that would be free of any downside.

Kin Phea, director of the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute, said the relationship between the CPP and the CPV is important because Vietnam uses a one-party system that is not subject to change via elections whereas in Cambodia, the CPP is likely to lead the country for a long time given the support they have garnered.

“Vietnam and Cambodia have become separate sovereign states and each have their own specific foreign policies. In this modern era, the two countries need to continue to enhance cooperation in various sectors by adhering to the principles of sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs,” he said.