Vietnamese Prime Minister Arrives for Three-Day State Visit

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung arrived for an official three-day visit Sunday, during which he is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Hun Sen as well as inaugurate a new Vietnamese-funded hospital and attend a groundbreaking ceremony for a bridge linking the two countries.

Tran Van Thong, spokesman for the Vietnamese Embassy in Phnom Penh, said Mr. Tan Dung’s visit aimed at strengthening relations between the neighbors in all sectors.

“He was invited to visit in order to promote relations between the two countries in all fields,” Mr. Van Thong said.

A statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the Vietnamese prime minister would attend a joint Cambodia-Vietnam conference on investment, the inauguration of the Cho Ray Phnom Penh Hospital, and the groundbreaking of the Chrey Thom-Long Binh Bridge in Kandal province.

“During the visit, his excellency Nguyen Tan Dung will be received in royal audience…and hold official talks with Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen,” the statement reads, adding that he would also meet with Senate President Chea Sim.

Prime Minister Hun Sen recently paid a state visit to Vietnam, during which a credit agreement of an undisclosed amount of money for the construction of Chrey Thom-Long Binh Bridge-which will provide the shortest route between Phnom Penh and Vietnam’s border—was signed.

As well as the bridge event, Mr. Tan Dung will be present at the opening of the $15 million Cho Ray Phnom Penh Hospital, which is jointly funded by the renowned Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City and Cambodian conglomerate Sokimex.

Separately, on Saturday the Hanoi People’s Committee Chairman Nguyen The Thao and Phnom Penh governor Pa Socheatvong attended a groundbreaking ceremony to rebuild Daun Penh primary school, state media reported.

Chea Cheath, director of the municipal education department said that Vietnam would invest about $2 million toward the re-construction of the school, which has fallen into disrepair.

The Vietnamese prime minister’s visit comes amid a rise in anti-Vietnamese sentiment among protesters at opposition CNRP and garment factory demonstrations. The CNRP opposes unchecked Vietnamese immigration and accuses the Hun Sen government of being Vietnamese puppets. On Friday, the party’s leader Sam Rainsy said that his party sided with China over Vietnam in the territorial dispute in the South China Sea.

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