|President Truong Tan Sang (right) meets Chairman of the Cambodian National Assembly Heng Samrin yesterday in Ha Noi. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Khang
HANOI (VNS) — Vietnamese and Cambodian leaders observed a minute of silence in tribute to martyrs of both countries at a meeting held yesterday to mark victory over the genocidal Pol Pot regime 35 years ago (January 7, 1979).
The event, organised by the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee, was attended by State President Truong Tan Sang, VFF President Nguyen Thien Nhan and senior leaders of the Party, State, ministries and other agencies, international friends as well as former Vietnamese experts and volunteer soldiers.
Among the Cambodian officials attending the event were National Assembly Chairman Heng Samrin and Deputy Prime Minister and President of the Cambodia-Viet Nam Friendship Association Men Sam An.
The participants observed a minute of silence in memory of heroic Vietnamese volunteers as well as Cambodian people and soldiers who laid down their lives in the fight against the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime.
Speaking at the meeting, President Sang said that the historical triumph was a joint victory that brought joy to people of both countries and firmly preserved the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of both Viet Nam and Cambodia.
The victory closed the darkest chapter in Cambodian history, saved the nation's people from genocide and opened up a new era of independence, freedom, peace, neutrality and development for Cambodia, he said.
For his part, Cambodian NA Chairman Heng Samrin said the people of Cambodia always bore in their hearts and minds the great sacrifices made by Vietnamese soldiers. Younger generations will be reminded of this valuable assistance rendered by Viet Nam, he said.
He said that since the victory of the Khmer Rouge in 1979, Viet Nam and Cambodia had consistently made great efforts to develop bilateral relations.
The Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, led by Pol Pot, ruled over the kingdom from 1975-1979. In only three years, eight months and 20 days, the genocidal regime killed nearly three million Cambodian civilians and destroyed all social infrastructure.
|An art performance was held yesterday to mark the 35th anniversary of the victory of the southwest border defence war and the joint victory of Viet Nam and Cambodia over the Khmer Rouge genocidal regime. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Dan
The brutal regime promoted a distorted history of Viet Nam and mobilised most of its military to launch an invasion into the southwestern region of Viet Nam.
They ravaged villages, brutally killed local people, including the elderly, children and women, and seriously violated the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Viet Nam.
Together with the armed forces and people of Cambodia as well as the support of international friends, the Vietnamese army overthrew the genocidal regime on January 7, 1979.
On Saturday, NA Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung reaffirmed that the Party, State and National Assembly of Viet Nam were steadfast in their commitment to building ties of friendship and all-round cooperation with Cambodia.
For his part, Heng Samrin said the Cambodian Parliament backs implementation of the agreement on border demarcation and marker planting between the two Governments.
He expressed the hope that the planting of markers would be completed early, contributing to the establishment of a border of peace and friendship.
Also on Saturday, Heng Samrin met with Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.
Trong hailed the January 7, 1979 victory was an important milestone in Viet Nam – Cambodia relations.
The Party leader expressed satisfaction with the development of bilateral ties in all fields. He said Viet Nam always accorded top priority to maintaining ties of good neighbourliness, amity and comprehensive links with Cambodia, considering it an invaluable asset.
Heng Samrin concluded his three-day visit to Viet Nam yesterday. — VNS