HÀ NỘI — The Vietnamese foreign ministry has called on Cambodian authorities to ensure the welfare of people of Vietnamese origin, after Phnom Penh last week ordered the eviction of many households in floating villages on the Tonle Sap River.
The spokesperson for the ministry Lê Thị Thu Hằng made the statement on Thursday in Hà Nội in response to questions over the fate of Vietnamese households affected by Phnom Penh’s decision.
Cambodia authorities said they would dismantle and relocate the floating houses, fish farms, and other “unregulated and illegal structures” on the river surface due to waterway pollution and disruption and asked everyone living in these structures to move out immediately.
The Vietnamese-origin Cambodian community are ethnic Vietnamese people who moved into Cambodia – mainly in the Tonle Sap River area – and have made a living there for generations, with neither Vietnamese nor Cambodian citizenship papers.
The Vietnamese Government still provides some support for them and frequently works with Cambodian authorities to grant legal papers to these people.
Hằng said Việt Nam “pays attention to this information,” and during a June 6 meeting between Vietnamese foreign minister Bùi Thanh Sơn and his Cambodian counterpart Prak Sokhonn, Sơn again asked Cambodia to address the legal status of the people of Vietnamese origin in Cambodia.
“He also asked that the Cambodian authorities have a reasonable roadmap in the implementation of their socio-economic policies to ensure the rights and welfare of the Vietnamese community, and enable the people affected by the policies to soon return to stability, to either keep their current work or switch to another appropriate occupation and to have full access to essential services,” Hằng informed the press.
On June 4-7, Vũ Quang Minh, Ambassador of Việt Nam to Cambodia, paid an in-person visit to the Vietnamese origin people in Cambodia in the eviction-affected area, Hằng noted.
“The State Commission on Overseas Vietnamese and the Vietnamese embassy in Cambodia have requested Cambodia to provide favourable conditions and practical relocation support for the affected people, ensuring the humanitarian spirit and the legitimate rights of the people here,” she added.
The Cambodian side has acknowledged Việt Nam’s requests and said the Cambodian government will continue to enable Vietnamese students and workers to study and work in Cambodia, and to provide favourable conditions for people of Vietnamese origin to enjoy stable livelihoods in this country.
“Việt Nam understands Cambodia’s socio-economic policies and the need to protect the environment, but we also hope that the relocation will be conducted based on a reasonable and feasible roadmap, and new settlement areas will be arranged with all essential infrastructure, allowing for the relocated people to soon stabilise their lives and have their social welfare safeguarded,” the spokesperson said.
Hằng said that in recent times, Vietnamese representatives and diplomatic missions in Cambodia have together with the Khmer-Việt Nam Association in Cambodia provided support for multiple households of people of Vietnamese origin to relocate to new settlements in keeping with the Cambodian government’s guidelines and their lives have started to become more stable.
“Following the instructions from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Vietnamese diplomatic mission in Cambodia will continue to monitor Cambodia’s relocation plan and the situation of the Vietnamese origin community here and co-operate with the Khmer-Việt Nam Association in Cambodia to render timely and practical assistance to our fellow countrymen,” Hằng said.
Naval base in Cambodia
Asked for a response from Việt Nam to reports that China is helping Cambodia modernise its Ream naval base on the coast of the Gulf of Thailand, spokesperson Hằng said as neighbouring countries to both Cambodia and China, Việt Nam wishes to uphold the co-operation and traditional friendship and maintain good neighbourliness with both countries.
“Việt Nam hopes that the relations between China and Cambodia will contribute to the upholding of peace, security, stability and prosperity in the region and in the world,” Hằng said. —
Việt Nam condemns attacks against civilians in Afghanistan
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam has condemned attacks targeting civilians and essential infrastructure in Afghanistan at a UN Security Council’s virtual meeting on the situation on Tuesday.
Ambassador Đặng Đình Quý, Permanent Representatives of Việt Nam to the UN, urged all relevant parties to stop the violence, fully respect international humanitarian law, and ensure unhindered humanitarian access for those in need.
The Vietnamese representative commended efforts made by the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) and its partners in supporting demining and offering mine risk education.
Quý stressed the need for addressing economic, humanitarian, and food security challenges as well as promoting women and youth engagement in all aspects of society in Afghanistan.
He affirmed Việt Nam’s support of efforts of the UN, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), countries, regional organisations and other international partners in promoting the peace process in Afghanistan.
The event, chaired by Eva-Maria Liimets, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Estonia and Council President for June, was attended by foreign ministers from Afghanistan, Norway, Ireland, India, and the UK.
Delegates expressed their serious concerns over recent escalating violence and civilian casualties as well as the stalled peace negotiations between the Afghanistan Government and the Taliban.
Deborah Lyons, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan and head of the UNAMA, stated that the UNAMA continues to work to tackle humanitarian challenges, assist the peace negotiation process, and promote development and reconstruction.
Participating council members shared the concerns and called for parties involved to quickly achieve practical results in negotiations.
According to the UNAMA, civilian casualties in Afghanistan increased by 29 percent in the first quarter of 2021, with 573 people killed, 1,210 injured. The nation is also facing a severe humanitarian crisis, with more than 18.4 million people, or more than a third of the population, needing humanitarian assistance. —
President urges deepening Vietnam-UK strategic partnership
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc has urged Vietnam and the UK to continue deepening their bilateral strategic partnership to meet the interests of the two countries and contribute to regional and world peace, stability and cooperation.
|President Nguyen Xuan Phuc (right) and First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs of the UK Dominic Raab. (Photo: VNA)|
The President made the remark at a reception for First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs of the UK Dominic Raab in Hanoi on June 22, who is on an official visit to Vietnam and attending the high-level policy dialogue of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).
He said the two sides should give priority to the effective implementation of the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) towards creating breakthroughs in trade and investment cooperation, affirming that Vietnam will create all possible conditions for UK businesses to invest in potential fields such as banking, insurance, financial services, digital services and renewable energy.
Phuc hailed the UK as a leading country in Europe and the world in researching, developing and administering COVID-19 vaccine, and asked the UK to help Vietnam access vaccine supply and production technology.
Secretary of State Raab underlined that the UK attaches importance to developing relations with Vietnam as the UK is adjusting its policy towards the Indo-Pacific region post Brexit. He informed President Phuc that he had discussed with Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son measures to implement the content of the bilateral strategic partnership, with a focus on the resumption of delegation exchange, cooperation mechanisms and orientations for coordination to optimize opportunities brought by the UKVFTA.
The official said he was impressed by Vietnam’s work in controlling COVID-19, and affirmed that the UK is ready to contribute vaccine to global efforts to control the pandemic, including providing vaccine to friendly countries and strategic partners like Vietnam.
He thanked Vietnam, with its rising role in the region, for actively backing the UK in promoting its cooperation with ASEAN and negotiating on joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
The two sides agreed to work closely at important multilateral forums in 2021 such as the UN Security Council, ASEM and the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26).
President Phuc spoke highly of the UK’s role and contribution to peace, security, and maritime freedom in the region and the world.
The UK official affirmed the importance of ensuring maritime and navigation freedom, security and peace in the East Sea, and emphasized compliance to international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982).
Deputy PM proposes UK further facilitate Vietnam’s access to COVID-19 vaccine supplies
Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh has proposed the UK’s Government further facilitate Vietnam’s access to COVID-19 vaccine supplies and consider transferring its vaccine production technology to the Southeast Asian country.
|At the meeting between Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh (R) and Dominic Raab, British First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs (Photo: VNA)|
At a reception in Hanoi on June 22 for Dominic Raab, British First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Minh said the UK is a leading nation in COVID-19 vaccine research and development and is one of the countries which have contributed the most to the COVAX Facility.
The Deputy PM spoke highly of the positive development of the Vietnam – UK strategic partnership in the recent past and expressed his belief that Raab’s current visit would create a new driving force for the bilateral cooperation.
Raab, who has been on an official visit to Vietnam where he also attended the Asia – Europe Meeting (ASEM) High-level Policy Dialogue, affirmed that Vietnam is an important strategic partner of the UK, particularly when the European nation has enhanced its engagement and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region in the post-Brexit period.
To step up cooperation in line with the “Joint Declaration on the Vietnam – UK Strategic Partnership: Forging Ahead for Another 10 Years”, the two sides agreed to soon resume the exchange of delegations, especially high-ranking ones, and cooperation mechanisms when the conditions allow.
Minh took this occasion to suggest the UK to create favourable conditions for Vietnamese exports to enter its market in a bid to tap opportunities brought about by the UK – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA).
He also affirmed that Vietnam is willing to create best conditions for British firms to expand their investment, particularly in potential fields such as renewable energy, digital economy, banking, insurance, financial services, and education – training.
The Deputy PM said the two nations should continue their cooperation at international forums such as the UN Security Council (UNSC) during 2020-2021, when Vietnam works as a non-permanent member of the council, and ASEM.
Minh pledged that Vietnam would work closely with the UK to ensure the success of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) hosted by the UK in November this year.
Raab thanked Vietnam for supporting the UK’s efforts to secure the ASEAN Dialogue Partner status, as well as in negotiations to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Having emphasised the importance of ensuring the freedom of navigation and overflight, security and peace in the East Sea, the two officials noted that the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is the legal framework for all activities at sea and ocean.
Top diplomats of Vietnam, UK hold talks in Hanoi
Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son held talks with the visiting British First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Dominic Raab, in Hanoi on June 22.
|Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son (R) and the British First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Dominic Raab, in Hanoi on June 22. (Photo: VNA)|
Son welcomed Raab once again paying an official visit to Vietnam and directly attending the Asia – Europe Meeting (ASEM) High-level Dialogue in Hanoi, voicing his belief that the trip will provide a new driving force for relations between the two countries.
In reply, Raab affirmed the wish to intensify the strategic partnership and close coordination with Vietnam as the UK is orienting its policy towards the Indo-Pacific region.
The two ministers expressed their delight at the positive strides in bilateral cooperation, especially since 2020, when the countries issued the “Joint Declaration on the Vietnam – UK Strategic Partnership: Forging Ahead for Another 10 Years”, and signed and enforced the UK – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA).
They agreed to soon resume the exchange of delegations and key cooperation mechanisms such as the security – defence strategy dialogue and the joint economic and trade committee (JETCO).
Both host and guest also spoke highly of the thriving economic links despite impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, with bilateral trade hitting 5.6 billion USD in 2020 and the UK’s direct investment in Vietnam reaching 3.92 billion USD at present.
They emphasised the need to capitalise on great opportunities offered by the UKVFTA so as to give a stronger boost to bilateral trade and investment, especially in potential areas like the digital economy, financial services, and renewable energy development, thereby contributing to post-pandemic recovery.
The two sides discussed directions to further bolster bilateral cooperation in the spheres of security – defence, health, development cooperation, education – training, science and technology, as well as expand cooperation between the two foreign ministries.
|The talks in Hanoi on June 22. (Photo: VNA)|
Son suggested the UK side, in the spirit of the strategic partnership, continue to support Vietnam in accessing COVID-19 vaccine supplies and consider transfering vaccine production technology to Vietnam.
They spoke highly of the Vietnam – UK cooperation at multilateral forums, especially their coordination at the UN Security Council (UNSC) during 2020-2021, when Vietnam serves as a non-permanent member of the UNSC, and within the ASEM framework.
The Vietnamese minister affirmed that he would work closely with the UK side to ensure the success of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) hosted by the UK in November this year.
For his part, Raab thanked Vietnam for supporting the UK in its efforts to secure ASEAN Dialogue Partner status, as well as in negotiations to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
The two sides also exchanged views on international and regional issues of common concern, emphasising the importance of ensuring the freedom of navigation and overflight, security and peace in the East Sea, and upholding international law, with the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) – the UN “charter of the oceans” considered the legal framework for all activities at sea and ocean.
Following the talks, the two ministers met with Vietnamese diplomats who received the UK’s Chevening Scholarships in 2020 – 2021.
Son thanked the British Government for providing scholarships for and helping Vietnam train high-quality human resources, including diplomats, over the past three decades.
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