A dancing performance ​at the ​celebration of 50 years of Vietnam-Cambodia diplomatic ties (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The 50th founding anniversary of Vietnam-Cambodia diplomatic relations (June 24, 1967) was celebrated with a grand ceremony at the Hanoi Opera House in the capital city of Vietnam on June 24.

Vietnamese participants included National Assembly (NA) Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh who chairs the National Steering Committee for the Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Year 2017, Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee Hoang Trung Hai, and President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee Tran Thanh Man.

Among the Cambodian officials at the event were Honourary President of the Cambodian People’s Party, President of the NA of Cambodia, and Chairman of the National Council of the Solidarity Front for Development of the Cambodian Motherland Samdech Heng Samrin; Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia and Chairwoman of the Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Association Men Sam An; and senior officials of the Cambodian parliament.

In her speech, Chairwoman Ngan underlined that Vietnam and Cambodia are neighbouring countries with long-standing relations. On the basis of the time-honoured relationship and the fight against colonialism, the establishment of their diplomatic ties created favourable conditions for the two peoples to continue standing side by side in the struggle for national liberation, and they together won a historic victory in the spring of 1975.

In response to the urgent call of the Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation, the army and people of Vietnam once again continued to be on the side of the patriotic forces and people of Cambodia to liberate the country and save the Cambodian people from the Pol Pot genocidal regime, prevent the return of the genocidal regime and bring recovery to Cambodia, she noted.

“On this special occasion, we express our sincere gratitude to the two peoples for their efforts and sacrifice in that lofty fight, particularly of heroic martyrs, war invalids, formers experts, former volunteer soldiers of Vietnam who did not spare their blood and bones and sacrificed themselves to consolidate the traditional solidarity and friendship between the two nations and peoples of Vietnam and Cambodia,” she said.

[Vietnamese, Cambodian leaders exchange congratulations on diplomatic ties]

 At the celebration, Samdech Heng Samrin described the organisation of the ceremony as a great historical event reflecting that the countries’ traditional solidarity, friendship and sound cooperation throughout history have brought about common benefits for the two nations, especially in gaining peace, stability and prosperity.

On behalf of the Cambodian people, he expressed his deep sense of gratitude to the Party, State and people of Vietnam for their precious support and assistance to the Cambodian people in recovering and re-constructing his country. He highlighted the great sacrifice of Vietnam’s volunteer soldiers who helped free the Cambodian people from the Pol Pot genocidal regime on January 7, 1979.

In their speeches, Chairwoman Ngan and President Samdech Heng Samrin noted with satisfaction that despite countless difficulties and challenges over the past five decades, the solidarity, traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Cambodia have continually been reinforced and developed, which is a priceless, sacred and sustainable asset of the two nations.

They noted the growing bilateral cooperation between the two parliaments and in politics, security-defence, economy-trade-investment, tourism, training, culture, health care, telecommunications, and cultural exchanges. They added during the implementation of the foreign policy of multilateralisation and diversification of international relations, the two countries have also coordinated closely at international and regional forums, thus helping to promote their respective prestige and stature in the region and the world.

They voiced their belief that the countries' time-tested amity and all-round cooperation will keep thriving for the sake of the two peoples.

At the ceremony, Colonel Le Cuong, who represented Vietnam’s former volunteer soldiers in Cambodia, shared his sentiment towards the land and people of Cambodia. He also congratulated Cambodia on its enormous achievements and affirmed that he will continue to help nurture the two countries’ friendship.

Meanwhile, Xiu Kim Hua – a Cambodian student at Hanoi Medical University, said the youth of Cambodia always keep in mind the assistance and support that the Vietnamese leaders and people have given to their country throughout history, especially the liberation of Cambodia from the Pol Pot genocidal regime in 1979.

On behalf of the two countries’ younger generations, Xiu Kim Hua and Tran Phuong Thao, a Vietnamese student at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, affirmed younger generations’ responsibility towards the consolidation of the Vietnam-Cambodia traditional friendship.-VNA