Cambodian National Independence (9th November 2006)

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King Norodom Sihamoni (King of The Kingdom of Cambodia)

(The building-roof and the wood behind are in the compound of my working place in Cambodia, NIE)

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Hun Sen (left), Prime Minister of Cambodia, and H.E Sok Ann, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Ministry of Cabinet

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King Norodom Sihamoni (King of The Kingdom of Cambodia)

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Cambodian National Independence Day

Phnom Penh – Thousands of Cambodians turned out on Thursday to see King Norodom Sihamoni light a torch at the capital’s Independence
Monument to commemorate the anniversary of Cambodia’s independence from France in 1953.
The ceremony was attended by the nation’s most senior politicians, including Prime Minister Hun Sen, National Assembly chief Heng Samrin and Senate leader Chea Sim.Sihamoni did not speak at the ceremony, but state television later read a statement from Sihamoni’s father, former king Norodom Sihanouk, reminding the nation that Cambodia gained independence in 1953 – a year before the rest of Indochina was officially granted independence in 1954 at a meeting in Geneva.

Cambodia reflects on continued rapid change (09-11-2006)


Ambassador Long Kem. — VNS File Photo

On the occasion of Cambodia’s National Day today, the country’s ambassador to Viet Nam, Long Kem, spoke to Viet Nam News.

What is the significance of November 9 to Cambodian people?

November 9 celebrates the day the French colonialists returned independence to Cambodia within the French Union after 90 years of domination.The people of Cambodia regained their independence thanks to King Norodom Sihanouk’s untiring struggle. After gaining independence, Cambodia had attained great achievements up until 1970 under King Sihanouk’s rule. This was a period of tremendous growth for us.Over the next 20 years, we fell into a period of many historical upheavals. The Government and people of Viet Nam during this period extended their wholehearted support to the Government and people of Cambodia in achieving liberation from the genocidal regime.From 1990 to 1994, we implemented a policy of peace and reconciliation so that the kingdom of Cambodia was re-established for a second time.The date of November 9, 1953 obviously has a deep historical meaning for our people.Since 2004, we have concentrated on socio-economic development and still continue to work towards our goals of sustainable development.

In your opinion, what agreement gained at the recent 8th meeting of the Viet Nam-Cambodia Joint Committee on Economic, Cultural, Scientific and Technological Co-operation was the most important for the people of the two countries?

The 8th joint committee between Viet Nam and Cambodia took place in Hue City.Co-operation between the two countries was discussed among all fields and recorded in the committee’s minutes. We have also agreed to strengthen and expand on the already existing wide co-operation between sectors, ministries and relevant agencies of the two countries. This has created a legal framework for the two countries to further work together.At the moment we have agreed upon 21 points of co-operation including education and training; agriculture, forestry and fisheries; natural resources and environment; trade and transport.

Cambodia
at a glance
Area: 181,035sq.km
Population: over 13.8 million
Capital:
Phnom Penh
Language: Khmer
Currency: Riel
National Flag: Three horizontal stripes of two blues and one red containing a representation of Angkor Wat in white.

These points are all very important. But at this point in time, I think, the co-operation regarding work on our common border is the most important point that requires a speedy implementation.Here I want to stress that we need to complete demarcation by 2008. I am so happy that we inaugurated the first border marker on September 27 this year at Moc Bai-Bavet Border Gate under the supervision of our two countries’ leaders.The two governments and the two border committees are striving to fulfil the construction of border markers in the spirit of the Complementary Treaty to the Treaty on the Delimitation of State Border of 1985 between the two countries.However, I have to admit that the time is catching up with us. Anyway I hope we can finish on time.

What will the 9th meeting of the joint committee held in Cambodia focus on?

The 9th meeting will review all that we have done from the agreements of the 8th meeting of the committee. It will also propose what we should co-operate more on.Recently, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung agreed with Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Hor Namhong to push forward three important points of co-operation. The first one is to continue strengthening and expanding the planting of rubber trees. The second point is to draw a map of minerals near the border of the two countries. And lastly, Cambodia asks Viet Nam to speed up the construction of the Se San Hydropower Plant.The above three co-operation points we consider to be the most important of the year and will be major priorities over time.
 

Viet Nam has officially become the 150th member of the World Trade Organisation. How will this membership help increase trade with Cambodia?

I would like to congratulate Viet Nam for its efforts in attaining full WTO membership.Of course, whether before or after membership, Viet Nam and Cambodia will always co-operate closely.

Royal
Palace inPhnom Penh
City. — VNS File Photo Dang Tung

The potential for trade between us and Viet Nam is great, and we hope that Viet Nam will continue to enhance trade with
Cambodia. Also there hopefully will be more Vietnamese enterprises investing in Cambodia.
Of great significance has been the agreement between Vietnamese former Prime Minister Phan Van Khai and current Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and our Prime Minister to boost co-operation in trade so that the export-import turnover between the two countries can reach US$1 billion next year and $2 billion in not too distant future.In the first nine months of this year, Viet Nam has exported to Cambodia goods of around $569 million while export from Cambodia to Viet Nam reached $123 million. I think it would be fair to say that we can achieve this target.We hope that after joining WTO, Viet Nam will also co-operate with Cambodia in banking and financial services to bring benefit to the peoples of both countries. — VNS

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