Assistance pledged for repatriation of remains
HA NOI (VNS)— The remains of Vietnamese soldiers and experts killed in Cambodia and Laos during wartime will continue to be searched for, after both countries pledged to maintain repatriation efforts.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung received separate assurances of continuous and close cooperation at receptions for Cambodian Standing Deputy Prime Minister Men Som An and Lao Deputy Defence Minister Chansamone Chanyalath in Ha Noi yesterday.
The commitments came following a meeting to review the repatriation of the remains of fallen Vietnamese soldiers held on the same day.
PM Dung said the Cambodian Government and people's effective assistance and cooperation has helped repatriate nearly 15,000 sets of remains since wartime.
He expressed Viet Nam's gratitude for Cambodia 's help and the country will strive with Cambodia to develop extensive and effective bilateral ties.
Yung added hopes that the Cambodian Government will continue its best efforts to help Viet Nam to bring home the remains of all Vietnamese volunteer soldiers lying in their country.
He also extended his deepest sympathies to the Cambodian Royal family, Government and people following the death of former King Norodom Sihanouk.
For her part, Cambodian Deputy PM Men Som An said her country always pays the foremost attention to searching for the estimated 5,000 sets of remains of Vietnamese soldiers which are still scattered in Cambodia and will work closely with Viet Nam to achieve this.
She also expressed profound thanks to the Vietnamese Party and State for sending volunteer soldiers to assist Cambodian liberation and reunification in the past and extended deep gratitude to those volunteers and experts fallen in her country.
She asserted that the Cambodian Government will spare no effort in working to repatriate the remaining Vietnamese volunteer soldiers.
Meeting with the Lao Deputy Defence Minister and Head of the Lao Government's Special Task Board, PM Dung expressed his hopes for Laos' continued cooperation in searching and repatriating over the remains of 1,000 Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and experts still lying in Laos.
Chansamone Chanyalath maintained that Laos will do its utmost fufil the hopes of the families of fallen Vietnamese volunteer soldiers.
Deputy PM Nguyen Thien Nhan chaired the earlier meeting to review the repatriation efforts in Laos and Cambodia.
Nhan spoke highly of the results achieved by the Vietnam-Laos government special task board and the Vietnam-Cambodia government special task committee.
He said the search and repatriation of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and experts killed in Laos and Cambodia will continue to be a political task and a key work of localities in their socio-economic development courses.
Nhan also asked relevant agencies and localities to press ahead with agreements signed with the neighbouring countries, urging them to coordinate with Lao and Cambodian counterparts to ensure successful repatriations.
Lieutenant General Dao Duy Minh, Deputy Head of the General Department of Politics at the Vietnam People's Army, reported that 30,538 sets of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and experts' remains have been repatriated since 1994.
According to Minh, who is Standing Deputy Head of the Government's Special Task Board and Deputy Chairman of the Government's Special Committee, the name and birthplace of 2,841 of the fallen have been determined. Comprising of 1,580 remains from Laos and 1,261 from Cambodia.
He added that current estimates suggest the remains of over 1,000 Vietnamese volunteer soldiers are still scattered across Laos and 5,000 in Cambodia.
Relevant agencies are determined to find and repatriate 1,000 sets of remains from Laos and 3,000 from Cambodia by 2015.
The task will be continued until there is no more information about the remains of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers in the two countries, Minh said. — VNS