President Truong Tan Sang has stated that the victory over the genocidal regime 35 years ago closed the darkest chapter in Cambodia’s history and opened up a new era of independence, freedom, peace, neutrality and development for the Cambodian people.
The Vietnamese President made the statement on January 5 while delivering a speech at a meeting in Hanoi to mark the 35th anniversary of the victory in the southwest border defence war and the joint victory of Vietnam and Cambodia over the Khmer Rouge genocidal regime (January 7, 1979-2014).
President Sang reiterated that the Vietnamese and Cambodian people shared the deep wish for peace to recover and reconstruct their nations after many years of war.
However, the Khmer Rouge led by Pol Pot, Ieng Sary and Khieu Samphan betrayed the Cambodian people and sabotaged the tradition of solidarity and friendship between the two peoples. They carried out a genocidal policy in Cambodia and launched an invasion of Vietnam’s southwestern border region.
Reigning from 1975-1979, the genocidal regime killed nearly 3 million Cambodian civilians in only 3 years, 8 months and 20 days, destroyed all social facilities and pushed the Cambodian nation to the brink of perdition, he recalled, adding that their crimes were strongly condemned by international community.
The regime also distorted the history of Vietnam and mobilised most of its military strengths, including dozens of divisions and many local regiments, to launch an invasion into the southwestern border of Vietnam.
They ravaged villages, brutally killed local people, including the elderly, children and women, and seriously violated the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Vietnam.
President Sang said their crimes towards the Vietnamese people are unpardonable. The Vietnamese Party, State, people and army practiced their legitimate self-defence rights and defeated their invasion.
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.
Following the victory, thousands of Vietnamese experts and voluntary soldiers continued standing side by side with the Cambodian people in the country’s revival and reconstruction.
Since 1979, the Cambodian Government and people under the leadership of the Cambodian People’s Party has achieved great progresses, making it a country of peace with an increasing role in the region and the world, the President noted.
“We would like to express our deepest gratitude towards Vietnamese and Cambodian heroic martyrs who sacrified their lives for independence, freedom and the common fate of both nations, for the Vietnam-Cambodia friendship and solidarity, as well as for peace, stability and development in Southeast Asia and the world”, President Sang said.
The President underscored that the pure solidarity between people of Vietnam and Cambodia will be inscribed forever in the history and can not be distorted by any forces, he stressed.
The Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), with the support of the United Nations, have launched trials against the ringleaders of the genocidal regime. This is a vivid evidence for justice and the pure and fair-minded help of the Vietnamese voluntary soldiers in Cambodia during the 1979-1989 period, said the President.
“Looking back to the past 35 years, we are proud that the good neighbourliness and traditional friendship, and the comprehensive, sustainable and long-standing cooperation between Vietnam and Cambodia, nurtured by generations of leaders and people of both countries, have been growing unceasingly”, he said.
Economic, trade, investment and tourism cooperation between the two countries has also developed rapidly, he noted, adding that Vietnam is one of the top 10 foreign investors in Cambodia .
President Sang stressed that Vietnam always treasures and attaches much importance to the development of the traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation with Cambodia for the interest of both peoples and for the sake of peace, stability, cooperation and progress in the region and the world.-VNA