Prime Minister Hun Sen met with the leaders of neighboring Laos and Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City Saturday amid an atmosphere of “solidarity and friendship” to discuss developing the border area jointly shared by the three countries, according to an official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Hun Sen, Vietnam Prime Minister Phan Van Khai and Lao Prime Minister Bounnhang Vorachith agreed to implement the “Vietnam-Cambodian-Laos Development Triangle” to speed up socio-economic development of the region, the official said. No date has been set for implementing the program.
The prime ministers agreed to upgrade transportation links to promote trade and tourism. Ratanakkiri and Stung Treng are the first two Cambodian provin-ces slated for development, along with Attapu and Se Kong provinces in Laos and Kon Tum, Gia Lai and Dak Lak provinces in Vietnam.
Constructing an interconnected electricity grid between Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam was also discussed, an important issue in Cambodia, where only a fraction of the rural population has access to reliable and cheap electricity.
The leaders also discussed how to ensure “security and social order” along their borders, prevent terrorism and combat drug trafficking.
The meeting was a follow-up to an Oct 20, 1999, gathering in Vientiane. The leaders agreed to meet in Phnom Penh in 2003. Officials from the embassies of Laos and Vietnam could not be reached for comment on Sunday.
Hun Sen was scheduled to visit the southern Vietnamese province of Song Nai on Sunday, where he was to honor Cambodian soldiers killed while fighting in Vietnam, Agence France-Presse reported.