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Vietnamese and Lao Governments determine to foster comprehensive cooperation

December 06, 2020 | 11:26

At the 43rd session of the Inter-governmental Committee, the Vietnamese and Lao Governments affirmed both countries’ diplomatic priority of unceasingly development of the bilateral relationship of great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation.

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Developing the bilateral relationship of great friendship, special solidarity, along with comprehensive co-operation

The event took place as part of Laotian Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith’s visit to the nation from December 4 to December 6 at the invitation of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, VOV News reported.

The visit is designed to consolidate political trust between the two countries whilst also creating a channel to accelerate the implementation of high-level agreements in relation to co-operative relations between the two countries moving forward.

The visit of the Lao leader to the country is taking place amid bilateral ties, friendship, special solidarity, and comprehensive co-operation, enjoying strong development. Despite this year seeing many activities cancelled due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, both sides have strived to maintain high-level visits and meetings, along with co-operation mechanisms, including an annual meeting of the two Political Bureaus and the 42nd session of the Vietnam-Laos Inter-Governmental Committee.

Vietnamese and Lao Governments determined to foster comprehensive cooperation
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) meets his Lao counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith in August 2020 (Photo: VNA)

The first half of the year saw the countries exchange 27 delegations, in which 10 Vietnamese delegations made a visit to Laos.

At present, defence-security co-operation continues to represent one of the most important pillars in bilateral relations. Indeed, both nations have actively carried out the five-year co-operation protocol and the annual defence–security co-operation plans, thereby helping to ensure political stability, security, social order, and safety in each nation. They have also effectively carried out an agreement on border regulations along with one on dealing with irregular migration and undocumented marriage in border areas.

Additionally, both sides have continued working together to search for and repatriate the remains of Vietnam’s volunteer soldiers and experts who laid down their lives in Laos during wartime. In the 2019 – 2020 dry season, 168 remains were repatriated from Laos, Vietnam News reported.

Due to the COVID-10 pandemic, bilateral cooperation in trade and investment has been affected. Two-way trade was valued at 815.5 million USD during January-October, down 12.2 percent year-on-year.

Vietnamese and Lao Governments determined to foster comprehensive cooperation
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) and Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith (Source: VNA)

The two sides have effectively implemented the project on improving the quality and effectiveness of bilateral ties in education and human resources development for 2011 – 2020.

In 2020, Vietnam provided 1,000 scholarships for Laos, while the latter also gave 60 scholarships for the former.

Additionally, links between Vietnamese and Lao localities, especially the border ones, have been further strengthened, including in infrastructure building, health care, human resources development, and border security ensuring.

The countries have also coordinated closely and supported each other at regional and international forums. They have further enhanced cooperation with each other and other ASEAN members in building the ASEAN Community and maintaining the bloc’s solidarity and consensus in the strategic issues of the region

Lao PM is visiting Vietnam and co-chairing the 43rd session of the Vietnam – Laos inter-governmental committee

According to Vietnam Plus, Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith is visiting Vietnam and co-chairing the 43rd session of the Vietnam – Laos inter-governmental committee from December 4 – 6. This is made at the invitation of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. The Lao guest is accompanied by many ministers and leading officials of provinces.

Vietnamese and Lao Governments determined to foster comprehensive cooperation
Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos Nguyen Ba Hung (left) and Laos Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith wished the 45th Laos National Day. (Photo: nhandan)

Born on November 10, 1945, Thongloun Sisoulith served as Deputy Foreign Minister from 1987 – 1992. From 2006 – 2015, he was a Politburo member, Deputy Prime Minister, head of the Party Central Committee’s Foreign Relations Commission, and Foreign Minister. From July 2015 - April 2016, he was a Politburo member, Deputy Prime Minister, and Foreign Minister. He has been a Politburo member and Prime Minister of Laos since April 2016.

The holding of the 43rd session of the committee is to continue affirming both countries’ diplomatic priority of unceasingly developing the bilateral relationship of great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation; strengthening the political trust between the two countries; and creating a channel for directing the acceleration of the implementation of high-level agreements, and of the cooperative relations between the two countries in the time to come.

Vietnamese and Lao Governments determined to foster comprehensive cooperation
Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh (left) and Lao Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumsay Kommasith (Photo: VNA)

As both countries are now preparing for their National Party Congresses next year and drafting new socio-economic development strategies for the next decade, the meeting is expected to provide a platform for the two sides to chart new orientation for bilateral cooperation in order to advance the ties in an effective and practical manner, VGP News reported.

On the occasion, both sides are expected to sign a strategy for economic, cultural, educational, scientific and technological cooperation for the period 2021-203 and an agreement on bilateral cooperation in the period 2021-2025. PM Sisoulith was the first foreign leader to visit Viet Nam last July despite of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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