Vietnam Time

6/7/2019 9:32:48 PM

Singaporean PM’s remarks are not meant to hurt Vietnam and Cambodia: Foreign Minister

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh on June 7 afternoon held telephone talks with Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan on remarks by Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on May 31 mentioning Vietnam’s invasion of Cambodia in 1978.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh holds telephone talks with Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan on June 7. Photo: Foreign Ministry

During the talks, held at a request by the Singaporean side, the Singaporean Minister affirmed his country attaches great importance to the strategic partnership with Vietnam and explained the context of the remarks, saying they are not meant to hurt Vietnam and Cambodia.

Deputy PM, Minister Minh stressed that the remarks have caused a negative response, especially in the context that the Cambodian people recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of their escape from the Pol Pot genocidal regime and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) issued a verdict on the crime against humanity committed by the Khmer Rouge, making fair restitution to the victims and their families, which was welcomed by the international community and the United Nations.

The Deputy PM affirmed that the justice and the huge contributions and sacrifices by the Vietnamese volunteer troops, who were described by the Cambodian as “Buddha’s army”, helped Cambodia out of genocide, contributed to peace, stability and development of the region. Minh also asked Singapore to take suitable adjustment.

The two agreed to continue the close cooperation so as to consolidate and develop the Vietnam – Singapore relations as well as to strengthen the solidarity and unity of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

On May 31, Singaporean PM Lee wrote on his Facebook page that he had written to Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to express his condolences on the death of former Thai prime minister Prem Tinsulanonda on May 26.

He noted that General Prem’s time as Thai prime minister coincided with the ASEAN members coming together to oppose Vietnam’s invasion of Cambodia and the Cambodian government that replaced the Khmer Rouge.

“Thailand was on the frontline, facing Vietnamese forces across its border with Cambodia. General Prem was resolute in not accepting this fait accompli, and worked with ASEAN partners to oppose the Vietnamese occupation in international forums,” PM Lee recounted.

“This prevented the military invasion and regime change from being legitimised. It protected the security of other Southeast Asia countries, and decisively shaped the course of the region.”

PM Lee also referred to the issue during his keynote address at the Shangri-La Dialogue last Friday when recounting the history of the region during the Cold War period.

Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said on June 6 that Singaporean leader’s comment on “Vietnam’s invasion of Cambodia” is against the revival of the Cambodian people.

The ministry’s spokesperson expressed regret for Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s Facebook post on May 31, saying that the remarks show that Singapore supports the genocidal regime and wants the genocidal regime to return to Cambodia.

Singapore was the host of the tripartite meeting that led to the formation of the coalition government of the Democratic Cambodia, which had prolonged the war and the suffering of Cambodian people for another 10 years. It was an act against the survival of the Cambodian people, he said.

The spokesperson said the statement is also an insult to the sacrifice of the Vietnamese military volunteers who helped liberate Cambodia from the genocidal regime.

Earlier on June 4, Spokesperson of the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry Le Thi Thu Hang said Vietnam regrets that some contents in the remarks of PM Lee at the 18th Shangri-La Dialogue and on his Facebook page did not objectively reflect the historical truth, causing negative impact on public opinions.

The contribution and sacrifice by Vietnam in the joint efforts with Cambodian people to end the Khmer Rouge genocide regime have been widely recognised, Hang said.

On November 16, 2018, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) issued a verdict on the crime against humanity committed by the Khmer Rouge.

The ruling reflected objectively the historical truth, enforcing justice and making fair restitution to the victims, which was welcomed by the international community and the United Nations.

After that, on June 7, the Singaporean Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson said that Singapore had no sympathy for the Khmer Rouge and did not want to see the Khmer Rouge return to Cambodia.

The ministry noted that while Singapore and Vietnam were on opposing sides in the past and have different views of that history, their leaders chose to set aside differences to forge a close partnership both bilaterally and in ASEAN./.

VNF/VNA  
[ Back ]
  •   
  •  

Send comment

Code
Video