Selected Joint Press Briefing by Samdech Techo Hun Sen and Prime Minister of LPDR HE Thongloun Sisoulith [Unofficial Translation]

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CNV:

Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen [1]:

HE Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith

His Excellency, Ladies, Gentlemen, Reporters

Elevating Trusted Strategic Comprehensive Partnerships

Today is an historic development in the relations between the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) and the Kingdom of Cambodia. What we have done on this day, I should emphasize, is that the two sides have signed the joint declaration stating about elevating strategic comprehensive partnership between the two countries and considered it a remarkable achievement in the two countries’ relations. We have made efforts to realize numerous tasks historically inherited by ancestors of the two countries as amicably neighboring countries. The strategic comprehensive partnership would allow us to promote further existing relations and widen trust between the two countries.

Cambodia-Laos Border Treaty and Build New Border Poles

We have also discussed a number of issues that include, what I am sharing with the press today, border issue, on which the two Prime Ministers agreed to prepare a Cambodia-Laos border treaty based on the achievement of around 86% that we have scored. It is an important task. Previously, the two countries’ border had not been that clear. However, after so many works we have done together, we have come to an agreement that the two countries’ border committees draft a border treaty to accept the 86% works scored so far. We also have agreed with each other to change current small border poles with more suitable size ones marking borderline between state and state […]

Border Committees to Design and Submit Border Poles to Leaders

The two Prime Ministers entrusted task of designing border poles to the two countries’ border committees and submit them to the two countries’ leaders for approvals. We also have agreed to split the cost of doing so in half. Besides, we have come to a common view about figuring out how many more border poles needed to plant. So far, on hundreds of Kilometers of the borderline that we shared, we have planted only 121 border poles. More poles needed to be mounting […] as for the remaining 14%, the two Prime Minister entrusted the task of working for a solution together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and we are optimistic that a solution will be reached at an appropriate time in the spirit of friendship and good neighboring cooperation […]

Purchased Electricity from Laos Would Expand Bilateral Trades

Today, as you ladies and gentlemen reporters have already learnt, we have signed a number of agreements, whereby Cambodia would become a market for Lao export of electricity, while Laos would also become a supplier of electricity to Cambodia. It is complementing each other. Based on what we have signed together, and those agreements we signed from before, we would be receiving up to 3,100 MW of electricity from Laos. It is such a huge amount. If we compared to Cambodia’s consumption of electricity in the past, Phnom Penh and the whole country consumed less than 40 MW. As of present, Cambodia has stepped up its purchase to 3,100 MW of electricity – considering it a kind of commodity – from Laos exporting to Cambodia in a rapid manner after the agreement comes gradually into implementation stages […]

Direct Flight between Cambodia and Laos

Among other things discussed, we have touched issue of direct flight of Cambodia’s Angkor Air as well as Laotian airlines between the two countries in the hope that it will expand tourism between the two countries. I think I should talk this much and turn the floor to Prime Minister HE Thongloun Sisoulith to give you more information.

Lao PDR Prime Minister [1]:

… This official visit (to the Kingdom of Cambodia) has been a great symbol. We have agreed on many strategic issues that are benefiting good relations and fruitful cooperation of the two countries and peoples. I totally support what has been presented to you by Samdech Techo. I think that high-level mutual visits signify the good tradition between our counties and we will work to promote it further. I agree with Samdech Techo Hun Sen that we discussed and resolved fruitfully border issues. We have made a step forwards. Importantly, for the 86% borderlines that we have approved, we will build and mount a better and larger border poles.

I have suggested the Cambodian side to come up with the pole architectures and the two Prime Ministers would make a decision on them. We will share the cost in half. The 86% borderline result has been a remarkable success of our efforts working together in so many years. As for the remaining border issues, the two Prime Ministers have entrusted the Laotian-Cambodian Joint Border Committee as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (of the two countries) to work for solution altogether. I have confidence that we will score a solution because we have such a good neighborly relation with each other.

More importantly, I agreed with Samdech Techo Hun Sen that the signing of the Joint Declaration will elevate our relations to a long-term and long-lasting strategic comprehensive partnership based on trust and collaboration for national developments and harmony in the relations between our two countries and people. Other agreements signed have also given us more confidence and collaboration between the governments and peoples of the two countries.

The Lao delegation and I are very pleased that Samdech Techo Hun Sen and the Royal Government of Cambodia decided to purchase over 3,000 MW of electricity from Laos from now through to 2030. This decision will complement each other. Samdech Techo already mentioned purchasing electricity from Laos for Cambodia’s development and Laos will use income from electricity for national development and betterment of our people’s livelihood. As of now the two countries have recorded only 16 million USD in trade. After the electricity from Laos, I think that trade volume between our two countries will add more prices. I hope we will be able to further development according to the spirit that the two sides have agreed.

Besides, we have discussed about promoting more people-to-people relations, tourism, labor, cultural exchange, and meeting between local levels. Whatever problem that may arise at the local level, both sides would be able to discuss and help each other to achieve local solutions. Problems that are beyond local ability to resolve would bring to the attention of the national level. I hope the local levels could work and resolve every problem altogether because our two governments agreed and shook hands in solidarity and one strand for national developments and betterment of living condition of our two peoples who have shared good customs and traditions. It would be a good thing for our children and grandchildren to continue such a good relation between our two countries. Taking this opportune moment, please allow me to thank Samdech Techo Hun Sen for giving the Laotian delegation his agreement and decision in the visit to the Kingdom of Cambodia this time.

Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen [2]:

Laos, ASEAN, Allow Observe Non-interference in Each Other Affairs

Thank you Prime Minister HE Thongloun Sisoulith. Taking this opportune moment, though I have no intention to bring Cambodia’s internal affairs upon foreign guests, let me clarify one thing. Recently, a pundit raised his analysis that Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Prak Sokhon’s visit to the Lao PDR was to seek Lao assurance that those fugitives (from Cambodia) who currently hide themselves in Paris would not enjoy access through Laos to Cambodia. The said pundit thought that Laos saw that as an important part in holding (the Royal Government of) Cambodia hostage or they would allow them access to Cambodia through Laos. Let me send words to that pundit – whether the press will or will not run the interview you gave – what you said has come to me. I wish to see that you make no further mistakes on Lao behavior or Thai or Vietnamese, or any countries at all in ASEAN. He should have learnt more about country-to-country relations and principles of ASEAN on non-interference in one another internal affairs.

On this remark, I would like Prime Minister HE Thongloun Sisoulith to share with the press today and to that pundit on this issue […] let me affirm that Laos is not the only (country/government), the Thai government already received the Cambodian court order to arrest any convicted persons (showing up in their countries). We will also send the court ruling to other countries members of ASEAN. I regretted that being a pundit he made such an analysis. Maybe Prime Minister HE Thongloun Sisoulith can clarify this principle of non-interference in each other affairs (among countries in ASEAN).

Prime Minister HE Thongloun Sisoulith [2]:

… There has been such happening and information. Let me affirm that whoever convicted by the court, whatever nationality he may have, and traverse through Laos to inflict destruction in another country, we would take stern measures to prevent that from happening, particularly, in the case of Cambodia, who is our friend. In fact, the visit of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs to Laos was to organize my visit to Cambodia this time. That we have such new is not good and dividing our two countries. I wish to send a message to the pundit that Samdech Techo raised in his remark to refrain from causing division in relations between Laos and Cambodia. How could such information formulate? I think (what he had said has) discredited him and causing division between the governments and peoples of Laos and Cambodia. Let me just clarify this much. Thank you./.