The Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) and the People’s Army of Vietnam will hold joint disaster rescue exercises in further collaborations to “maintain peace, order and stability in the neighbouring countries”.
The drills are to be carried in Cambodia and Vietnam’s neighbouring Svay Rieng and Long An provinces in December.
RCAF spokesman Thong Solimo said Cambodian and Vietnamese troops were collaborating to strengthen their rescue capabilities in the event of floods and forest fires.
“Those taking part in the drills will be forces stationed along the border. These are the first exercises that will be held across the border in the two provinces.
“They are aimed at improving disaster rescue measures. The drills are a collaboration to maintain peace, order and stability in the neighbouring countries,” Solimo said.
He said he could not yet specify how many Cambodian and Vietnamese troops would take part in the exercises or its duration.
Prime Minister Hun Sen, following a meeting at the Peace Palace on Wednesday evening with Lieutenant General Phan Van Giang, the Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army and First Deputy Defence Minister, voiced his support for the joint disaster rescue exercises.
Hun Sen said he considered the exercises to strengthen disaster rescue capabilities to be in the best interests of the people along both sides of the border.
Forest fires and floods could occur in unmarked areas along the border, meaning rescue efforts from both militaries would be needed to promptly manage them.
In this regard, by having the two armies enter each other’s territories, the exercises would help raise awareness and avoid confusion.
“In these humanitarian exercises in preparation for disasters, Cambodian troops will enter Vietnam to assist the Vietnamese, and Vietnamese troops will go into Cambodia to help.
“[We] are continuing to strengthen existing cooperation and making it possible for the people of both countries to do business along the border,” Hun Sen said.