Vietnamese President Vo Van Thuong hopes that the Cambodian Ministry of Interior and Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security will continue to strengthen their existing cooperation, while also expressing optimism about the benefits the relationship would bring in the future, according to a statement on the outcome of the meeting.

Thuong met interior minister Sar Kheng on March 4 while he was on a March 3-5 visit at the invitation of his Vietnamese counterpart To Lam. The visit was focused on the implementation of bilateral cooperative frameworks between the two ministries.

According to the interior ministry, the Vietnamese president commended everyone involved for the cooperation that took place this past year.

“[Thuong] hopes that the two ministries will continue to strengthen existing cooperation to get even better results,” the interior ministry said in a social media post.

The post added that at the March 4 meeting with Sar Kheng, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh also commended the two ministries for the good cooperation and encouraged them to enhance cooperation this year.

Sar Kheng co-chaired a cooperative meeting between the two ministries with his counterpart Lam.

The ministry said the two ministers thanked each other for their efforts to strengthen cooperation in the past year to bring remarkable progress.

Yang Peou, secretary-general of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said Cambodia and Vietnam shared a long border, noting that at some points along it, there are no guards so people cross illegally, conduct illegal business transactions and evade taxes.

He said the cooperation between the two countries needs to be further strengthened within existing frameworks as they have agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoU) on security cooperation.

“The border of the two countries is long. Illegal goods cross over, illegal people cross over. Doing things this way can lead some people to commit other criminal offences who might not normally do so. So, out of necessity the cooperation must be strengthened in the security area,” he said.

“Cambodia will also conduct its general election on July 23, 2023, while Vietnam also needs to maintain order and strengthen its internal public order with new reforms,” he added.