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Vietnam's volunteer troops’ assistance for Cambodia was no act of invasion: Cambodian defense minister

Friday, June 21, 2019, 14:46 GMT+7
Vietnam's volunteer troops’ assistance for Cambodia was no act of invasion: Cambodian defense minister
Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Samdech Pichey Sena Tea Banh and his delegation are welcomed in the southern Vietnamese province of Binh Phuoc on June 20, 2019. Photo: Minh Phuong / Tuoi Tre

The assistance of Vietnamese volunteer troops for the Cambodian people to escape from the scourge of genocide by the Khmer Rouge was not an act of invasion, Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Samdech Pichey Sena Tea Banh reiterated during his visit to southern Vietnam on Thursday.

More than 100 senior Cambodian military officers visited Vietnam’s southern province of Binh Phuoc on June 20 to mark 42 years since ‘the path to overthrow the Pol Pot genocidal regime.’

A joint military operation by the Cambodian People’s Party with assistance from Vietnamese military volunteers helped liberate Cambodia from the regime’s rule in 1979.

The ‘path to overthrow the Pol Pot genocidal regime’ refers to different places where the incumbent Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen hid his weapons, met the first Vietnamese person who led him to local militia and enjoyed his first meal in Vietnam 41 years ago, according to the Vietnam News Agency.

The delegation, led by Minister Tea Banh, was welcomed by Tran Quang Phuong, deputy head of the General Department of Politics of the Vietnam People’s Army, Commander of Military Region 7 Vo Minh Luong, and Binh Phuoc senior officials.

The delegation visited several places in the province to commemorate PM Hun Sen’s journey to save his country.

Minister Tea Banh receives flowers from an official of Binh Phuoc Province. Photo: Minh Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Minister Tea Banh receives flowers from an official of Binh Phuoc Province. Photo: Minh Phuong / Tuoi Tre

The Cambodian delegation also held a meeting with local officials and residents at Loc Thanh Commune’s cultural center, where a museum honoring the overthrow of Pol Pot’s genocidal regime was established.

During their conversation, Minister Tea Banh affirmed that the Vietnamese volunteer soldiers assisted the Cambodian people in escaping the Khmer Rouge, explaining that their presence was not an invasion of Cambodia.

He expressed his deep gratitude to the Vietnamese volunteer soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the survival of the Cambodian people.

The victory on January 7, 1979 would not have been achieved had it not been for the leadership of the Cambodian People’s Party and the timely support of the Vietnamese volunteer troops, he remarked, adding that the Cambodian Party, government, military, and people will forever keep this in mind.

Relying to his guest, Chairman of the Binh Phuoc People’s Committee Nguyen Van Tram described the visit as a vivid demonstration of the solidarity and friendship between the militaries and peoples of the two countries.

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