Focus on Vietnam-Cambodia military relations with the visit of the Minister of Defense – The Diplomat

Asia Defense

The interaction highlighted some of the ongoing priority areas for the defense relationship heading into 2019.

Last week, a high-ranking Vietnamese defense delegation visited Cambodia. Although the engagement was only one of several between the two sides, it nonetheless highlighted some of the ongoing activity on the side of defending relations between the two countries in the context of their policies. national and foreign respective.

As I have already noted, Vietnam and Cambodia share a defense relationship that both sides tend to characterize as a pillar of their wider diplomatic relations. Bilateral defense ties span several aspects, from Vietnam providing the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) with equipment, training and assistance to joint management of more sensitive areas of the relationship, such as the unresolved issues on their common 700-mile border.

In recent weeks, the defense relationship has once again made headlines with the visit of a high-ranking defense delegation to Cambodia. The delegation, led by Vietnamese Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich, paid an official visit to Cambodia that lasted December 27-29 at the invitation of his counterpart, Tea Banh, who also serves as Deputy Prime Minister Minister.

The visit had a mixture of symbolic and more substantial interactions. Lich met various Cambodian officials, including his counterpart as well as Prime Minister Hun Sen, and also paid a visit to the Vietnamese Embassy in Cambodia. He and the Vietnamese delegation also participated in other ceremonial activities, including the laying of wreaths at the Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Monument.

As is customary in meetings involving the two defense ministers, the two sides assessed the state of their bilateral defense relations as well as the opportunities and challenges they face. They also discussed areas for future collaboration in 2019, with the two defense ministers signing an agreement on some of the key elements of defense cooperation in the new year. According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Defense, during Lich’s meeting with Hun Sen, they discussed some areas where defense cooperation could be advanced in the future, including information dissemination and education. troops, personnel training and delegation exchanges, joint border management and exchange, and the search and repatriation of the remains of Vietnamese soldiers in Cambodia during the war years.

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Unsurprisingly, few additional details have been made public on the specific activities the two sides are planning for 2019, which typically involves a mix of general continuity and incremental changes in key areas. As the year progresses with its mix of planned activities and ongoing developments, we can expect the emerging form of Vietnam-Cambodia defense collaboration to take shape.

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