Outgoing Prime Minister Hun Sen, in his capacity as president of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), met with Nguyen Phu Trong, the leader of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), for talks on fostering deeper bilateral and multilateral friendship and cooperation.

The discussion occurred via video conference on August 5, shortly after the official election outcome favouring the CPP. Both leaders were keen to build on their nations’ long-established connection.

In a press release, the CPP acknowledged Trong’s admiration for Cambodia’s growth under Hun Sen’s leadership.

Trong expressed confidence in the continued success of the nation, stating: “This victory will continue to happen to the new government of Hun Manet”.

He also conveyed his full support to Cambodia’s ongoing development, ensuring that the progress and achievements under the current leadership would carry on into the new government led by Hun Sen’s son Manet.

Trong’s joy was evident as he reflected on the strengthened relationship between Cambodia and Vietnam, committing to further reinforcing these ties, according to the press release.

Hun Sen showed gratitude to Trong for a congratulatory letter and phone call following the CPP’s victory. He believed the letter and call demonstrated the solidarity, fraternity and comprehensive cooperation between the two nations.

Hun Sen also extended thanks to the CPV for their strong trust in the CPP, especially their support for the incoming government of Manet.

The press release detailed mutual appreciation for “the close and fruitful cooperation within the party and government frameworks, despite having difficulty during the Covid-19 pandemic and geopolitical competition”.

Both Cambodia and Vietnam demonstrated firm commitments to continue deepening their cooperation, cherishing the spirit of neighbourliness and their long-term, comprehensive friendship.

Seun Sam, a policy researcher at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, emphasised the significance of these post-election talks. He said they were crucial to fortify Cambodian-Vietnamese cooperation, being neighbours.

“The strong relationship is crucial for Cambodia, as it allows Vietnam to serve as its agricultural market,” he said.

He firmly believes that the bilateral relations will remain constant, despite any governmental changes, because of the mutual benefits and needs they share.

“Cambodia relies on Vietnam as an agricultural market, while Vietnam looks to Cambodia for support in policies. This is because both countries are members of ASEAN. Additionally, Cambodia has many friendly relations on the international stage,” he stated.