Hanoi (VNA) - Cambodian and Vietnamese soldiers will jointly hold a rescue exercise in Tuasday commune, Chanthrea district, Cambodia’s S’vay Rieng province that borders Vietnam’s southern Long An province, on December 18.

The information was released at a press conference in Ho Chi Minh City on December 13.

Vietnam, Cambodia to hold joint rescue drill hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said on December 16 that the joint exercise is designed to strengthen rescue capabilities for troops of both countries in the event of floods and forest fires along the border.

The PM has said Cambodia is committed to building a border of peace, friendship, cooperation and development.

The drill is to implement a protocol on search and rescue cooperation in mainland border area signed between the two defence ministries on July 20, 2017. It is also a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief activity within the framework of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM).

The drill will focus on the establishment and operation of a joint command post, response to chemical incidents and disasters, and post-disaster recovery.

On this occasion, the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence will hand over a friendship health care centre to Chanthrea district, and present medical equipment to the Cambodian side. 

Following the drill, the two countries’ military medical staff will offer health check-ups and medicines to Cambodian people at the site of the exercise.

Vietnam and Cambodia established diplomatic relations on June 24, 1967. The two neighbouring countries stood side by side during past struggles against colonialists and the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime, and have supported each other in national construction and defence.

Both countries have pursued a foreign policy of independence, self-reliance and multilateralisation and diversification of relations.

They have also attached importance to the bilateral relationship under the motto “friendly neighbourliness, traditional friendship and comprehensive, sustainable, long-term cooperation,” and on the principles of respecting each other’s independence and territorial integrity, not interfering in internal affairs, not using or threatening to use force, not allowing any political and military forces to use their territory to sabotage the other country, equal and mutually beneficial cooperation, and handling all issues between the two countries peacefully.

Despite regional and global uncertainties, the Vietnam-Cambodia relationship has made important developments, becoming a crucial factor to building a peaceful and sustainable environment to spur development and ensure independence and sovereignty in each country.

Over the years, the two sides have maintained and made effective use of cooperation mechanisms, increased the exchange of visits and meetings and signed many documents serving as a foundation for bilateral cooperation.

They coordinated to organise various activities marking the 40th anniversary of the victory of Vietnam’s Southwest border defence war and the joint victory over the genocidal regime in Cambodia (January 7, 1979).

The two sides have also increased people-to-people exchanges and paid attention to raising public awareness of preserving and upholding the Vietnam-Cambodia solidarity and friendship.

Apart from implementing agreements on national defence and security collaboration, the two countries have maintained negotiations and cooperation to address outstanding issues regarding land border demarcation and marker planting, the legal status of Vietnamese-Cambodians and the search for and repatriation of remains of Vietnamese voluntary soldiers and experts who died in Cambodia. In 2018, the remains of 690 Vietnamese soldiers and experts were brought back to Vietnam.

The two countries have done 84 percent of the workload in land border demarcation and are conducting negotiations towards signing a document to legalise the completed workload while seeking measures to early complete the remaining work.

Vietnam and Cambodia have maintained mechanisms to share information about regional and international matters, and coordinated at multilateral forums, especially within the United Nations, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Mekong Sub-region cooperation mechanisms./.