Minister of National Defence Tea Banh is leading senior military officials on a visit to Hanoi, Vietnam from Tuesday to Sunday to discuss next year’s bilateral military collaborations.

The visit is at the invitation of his Vietnamese counterpart Ngo Xuan Lich, said a press release from the ministry on Monday.

“During the five-day visit to Hanoi, Samdech Pichey Sena Tea Banh, as well as senior delegates from the Ministry of National Defence, will partake in bilateral meetings with General Ngo Xuan Lich, the Vietnamese Minister of National Defence, to witness the signing ceremony of protocols for 2020-24 and collaborative plans for 2020 between the Cambodian and Vietnamese ministries of national defence,” the press release said.

Banh and the ministry’s delegates will join a tripartite meeting of Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos, and attend the celebrations for the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Army of Vietnam to be held at the Vietnamese defence ministry’s headquarters.

A former lawmaker of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Ou Chanrath, said the visit would help strengthen relations between the two countries and encourage Vietnam to provide more aid to the Kingdom, including human resources training and the provision of military equipment.

“This will strengthen collaborative relations between the two countries. It is normal for the two countries to exchange visits and sign agreements that strengthen relations and collaborations in military affairs,” said Chanrath.

The visit to Vietnam was made in conjunction with the joint exercises being held in Svay Rieng province between the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and the People’s Army of Vietnam, which will conclude on Wednesday.

The drills aim to enhance the emergency response capabilities of the military and strengthen cooperation between the two countries.

In October, Prime Minister Hun Sen and Lieutenant General Phan Van Giang, the Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army, met to discuss plans for joint military exercises in regards to disaster preparedness.

They agreed to collaborate more actively in border management and defence.