Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh holds telephone talks with Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan on June 7 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh on June 7 afternoon held telephone talks with Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan on remarks by Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on May 31.

During the talks, held at a request by the Singaporean side, the Singaporean Minister affirmed his country attaches great importance to the strategic partnership with Vietnam and explained the context of the remarks, saying they are not meant to hurt Vietnam and Cambodia.

Deputy PM, Minister Minh stressed that the remarks have caused a negative response, especially in the context that the Cambodian people recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of their escape from the Pol Pot genocidal regime and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) issued a verdict on the crime against humanity committed by the Khmer Rouge, making fair restitution to the victims and their families, which was welcomed by the international community and the United Nations.

The Deputy PM affirmed that the justice and the huge contributions and sacrifices by the Vietnamese volunteer troops, who were described by the Cambodian as “Buddha’s army”, helped Cambodia out of genocide, contributed to peace, stability and development of the region. Minh also asked Singapore to take suitable adjustment.

The two agreed to continue the close cooperation so as to consolidate and develop the Vietnam – Singapore relations as well as to strengthen the solidarity and unity of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).-VNA