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Tribunal Showing ‘Historic Truth’ About Vietnam: Hun Sen

Cambodian military officials line up in front the top leaders of Khmer Rouge portraits, from right, former Khmer Rouge Foreign Minister Ieng Sary, former Khmer Rouge head of state Khieu Samphan, and former Deputy Secretary Nuon Chea, during the second d

Prime Minister Hun Sen met with a senior Vietnamese official on Tuesday, assuring him that the UN-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal now under way was helping Cambodians understand Vietnam’s role against the regime.

In a meeting with Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam’s central committee, Hun Sen said the current trial of three Khmer Rouge leaders now underway at the court exhibited the “historic truth” for Vietnam, according to a spokesman for the premier.

Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan and Ieng Sary are facing atrocity crimes charges at the court, including genocide. In recent testimony, Nuon Chea, the chief ideologue of the regime, defended the Khmer Rouge takeover of Cambodia, saying it had been to fight off Vietnamese encroachment.

Nuon Chea also accused the Vietnamese of their own atrocity crimes, a claim Vietnamese officials deny.

“The trial of the Pol Pot regime is clarifying the help of Vietnam for Cambodia and is fair,” Ieng Sophallet, Hun Sen’s spokesman, told reporters.

Nguyen Phu Trong, meanwhile, met with King Norodom Sihamoni and other senior officials in a trip aimed at maintaining stability and economic development, officials said.

He and Hun Sen are trying to boost trade between the two countries to $5 billion, Ieng Sophallet said. That would be a huge increase from the $1.9 billion in trade the two exchanged in 2010.

Vietnam has nearly 100 business projects in Cambodia, with a registered capital of $2.2 billion in fields including rubber, banking and airlines, according to government figures.