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After the Cambodian authorities announced they would revoke illegally issued documents from nearly 70,000 Cambodian-born Vietnamese, Vietnam has asked Cambodia to ensure the interests of the ethnic Vietnamese living in Cambodia.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam, Le Thi Thu Hang.
Last week, the Phnom Penh Post reported that the Cambodian Ministry of Civil Affairs was preparing to revoke documents, issued to 70,000 individuals, deemed to be inappropriate or illegal. He also said that these people will be labeled as illegal immigrants. However, they would not be forced to leave Cambodia and would need to contact local authorities for further matter.
The spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam, Le Thi Thu Hang, responded to the move in a statement on Monday.
“Vietnam and Cambodia traditionally have good neighbor relations,” Hang said. “The ethnic Vietnamese community in Cambodia has made many contributions to the development of Cambodia and helped nurture the traditional friendship between the two countries.”
The spokesman emphasised that Vietnam hoped Cambodia would create favourable legal conditions and take appropriate measures to ensure the interests of ethnic Vietnamese in Cambodia, in accordance with Cambodian and international law and an existing Joint Declaration between the two countries.
“We hope that in the process of completing their legal documents, people will be able to maintain a stable life and continue to contribute to the socio-economic development of the Kingdom of Cambodia, while also consolidating and strengthening the traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries,” Hang said.
Meanwhile, Chau Van Chi, the president of the Association of Vietnamese-Cambodians in Cambodia, said that the Cambodian authorities would not force the people whose documents had been revoked to move. These people would only have to register again with Cambodian authorities and indicate that they are not Cambodian, but foreigners, Chi said.