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Vietnam says concerned about Cambodia’s Funan Techo Canal project

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Deputy spokesman of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Doan Khac Viet has said Vietnam needs more information about Cambodia’s project to build the Funan Techo Canal which is feared to impact water resources and the ecological environment of Vietnam’s Mekong Delta.

Speaking at a press conference held today, April 11, by the ministry, spokesman Viet responded to inquiries about Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet’s recent statement on the Funan Techo Canal project. He emphasized that Vietnam does care about the project.

Vietnam supports the social and economic development needs of the countries along the Mekong River but underscores the need for enhancing cooperation to effectively and sustainably manage the water resources of the Mekong River for sustainable development in the basin, for the benefit of communities living in the basin, for future generations, and for solidarity among the riparian nations, he said.

He added Vietnam had proposed Cambodia closely coordinate with Vietnam and the Mekong River Commission in sharing information and assessing the impact of the canal project on water resources and the ecological environment of the Mekong Delta to ensure the harmonization of the interests of the riparian countries and the residents in the area.

According to the Vietnamese media, the 180-kilometer Funan Techo Canal would connect Phnom Penh river port and the Gulf of Thailand in the southwest of Cambodia, and pass through four Camodian provinces: Kandal, Takeo, Kampot and Kep. The canal is planned to be 100 meters wide in the upstream and 80 meters wide in the downstream, and 5.4 meters deep.

In the past, this project was known as the Bassac River Navigation and Logistics System (BRNLS) but at the 6th session of the Cambodian National Assembly in May last year, the project was renamed as Funan Techo Canal, said a Tuoi Tre Online newspaper report.

A news report posted on Nguoi Lao Dong newspwer website said that in June last year, the Cambodian government established an inter-ministerial committee to implement this project.

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