Prime Minister Hun Sen and Vietnamese National Assembly (NA) president Vuong Dinh Hue have agreed to deepen cooperation between the two countries across all sectors.

Hue met with Hun Sen on November 20 as part of his November 19-23 visit to the Kingdom.

Following the meeting, Hun Sen’s personal assistant Eang Sophalleth told reporters that Hue was pleased with the relationship between the two countries, particularly their 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

Hue commended Hun Sen for bringing Covid-19 under control and reopening the Kingdom’s socio-economic activities, adding that Cambodia’s rapid development was commendable, as was its leadership of ASEAN and the bloc’s recent summits and related meetings.

He added that the Vietnamese president Nguyen Xuan Phuc was particularly pleased with trade cooperation between the two countries, with the volume of trade rising to $10 billion this year.

“Let me take this opportunity to ask that we deepen cooperation between us in all sectors,” Hue was quoted as saying.

Sophalleth said Hun Sen welcomed Hue’s suggestion of closer cooperation, saying that a good economic partnership will foster political relations and those of other sectors.

Separately on November 19, Hue and his Cambodian counterpart Heng Samrin oversaw the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the secretariats of their respective parliament to strengthen cooperation.

The MoU aims to continue to strengthen cooperation at all levels through an exchange of visits of top leaders, sharing of experience between specialised commissions, sharing of information as well as the promise of mutual support in international and regional inter-parliament forums.

Yang Kim Eng, president of the People Centre for Development and Peace, said bilateral cooperation based on equal principles and mutual benefits that support peace, stability and economic growth is welcome. But he cautioned that in-depth consideration should be given to any narrowing of ties, based on the feelings of some members of the public.

“This increased cooperation could raise doubts among some people. This may be as a result of historical differences or other problems from the past. It needs to be made very clear that fostering this cooperation will result in benefits to both countries, and the increased development of the Kingdom,” he told The Post.

Kin Phea, director of the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute, said that in expressing their positions to each other, the leaders of the two countries have highlighted their commitment to strengthen, expand and enhance relations, with fruitful results and real benefits for the people of both countries. This will make a positive contribution to peace, stability, cooperation, and prosperity in the region and the world.

He said on November 20 that based on historical, geographical, and political factors, strengthened cooperation between the two countries is absolutely indispensable.

“The two countries should continue to live together in peace, with mutual respect for sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity. They must not interfere in each other’s internal affairs and should resolve issues peacefully.

“Most importantly, they ought to cooperate in all areas of mutual benefit the best they can, as befits the motto of the relationship adopted by the two countries – good neighbourliness, traditional friendship, and comprehensive, sustainable and long-term cooperation,” he told The Post.