Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen talking to more than 700 former volunteer experts and soldiers who helped his country overthrow the genocidal Pol Pot regime in 1979. PHOTO: VIETNAMNET
Prime Minister Hun Sen Saturday wrapped up his three-day official state visit to Vietnam, which included a meeting with the Vietnamese that helped him overthrow the Khmer Rouge nearly 35 years ago.
After talks with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and other Vietnamese senior leaders Thursday, Hun Sen on Friday met in Hanoi more than 700 former Vietnamese volunteers who helped Cambodia overthrow the genocidal Pol Pot regime in 1979 and build the Cambodian government afterwards, Quan Doi Nhan Dan (People's Army) newspaper reported Friday.
Former volunteer experts and soldiers attending the meeting with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday morning. PHOTO: VIETNAMNET
He reiterated his thanks to the Vietnamese Party, government and people, especially the dozens of thousands of former Vietnamese volunteer experts and soldiers who were killed or injured during the battle to help Cambodia survive and rebuild itself.
He said the international community now understands that Vietnam only helped Cambodia in its fight against the Pol Pot regime, adding that without such help, the Cambodian people "would find it difficult to get today's achievements."
He was quoted by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper as saying that without Vietnam's help, it would have taken Cambodian people at least five years to liberate their country, and if so, "Cambodians must have been all killed."
With the call of the Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation, Vietnamese forces on December 25, 1978, helped the organization, which included many former members of the Pol Pot regime, also known as Khmer Rouge, to liberate Phnom Penh on January 7, 1979 from the genocidal rule.
He affirmed that the solidarity between Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos will not change despite any changes in the world or regional situation as any trouble one of them faces also affects the others, Quan Doi Nhan Dan reported.
He promised that Cambodia will give better support in the search for and repatriation of the remains of Vietnamese martyrs who died in Cambodia, saying that he will invite the children of these martyrs to meet with Cambodian people of various generations in a bid to promote the traditional solidarity between the two governments and peoples.
Nguyen Van De, one of the former volunteers, said the Vietnamese volunteers will never forget the care, protection and close cooperation of Cambodian people and soldiers during the time, calling them "common and precious properties of the two peoples," Vietnam News Agency reported.
Later that day, Hun Sen also met with the Association of Vietnamese Investors in Cambodia (AVIC) in Hanoi and called on Vietnam for further investment. He also asked the country to share its development experience.
He then met Da Nang City chairman Van Huu Chien during his visit to the central city.
Vietnam and Cambodia established diplomatic relations in 1967.
Two-way trade between the two countries reached US$2.94 billion in the first 10 months of this year and is expected to go up to $3.5 billion by the year-end and $5 billion in 2015.
Vietnam is the fifth biggest investor in Cambodia, with 126 projects worth over $3 billion by the end of this year, according to AVIC. The number of projects is more than three times higher than before 2010, and the rate of investment is nearly six times higher.
Vietnam is the first country that Hun Sen has visited after the Cambodian parliament reappointed him Prime Minister for another five years in September.
Like us on Facebook and scroll down to share your comment