Viet Nam News
VIENTIANE – President Trần Đại Quang yesterday held talks with the Lao Party leader and President Bounnhang Vorachith right after arriving in Vientiane for his three-day State visit to Laos.
The host said the Vietnamese President’s selection of Laos for his first overseas trip after taking office demonstrates the importance Việt Nam attaches to its relations with Laos.
He expressed his belief that the visit would be a milestone in consolidating and further developing the traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two Parties, States and peoples.
For his part, President Quang expressed his delight at remarkable achievements the Lao Party, State and people have attained over the recent past.
Congratulating the Lao side on the successful 10th Lao Party Congress, he noted his belief that the Lao people will fulfill all tasks and targets set at the congress to advance firmly on the path towards socialism.
The two sides agreed to push forward the implementation of agreements reached by leaders of the two countries and outcomes of the 38th meeting of the inter-governmental committee on Việt Nam-Laos co-operation, as well as the co-operation plans between the two governments for 2016, the Việt Nam-Lao co-operation treaty for 2016-20, the joint statement issued during the recent Việt Nam visit by Party General Secretary and President Bounnhang Vorachith, along with the outcomes of the Việt Nam visit by Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and the Laos visit by the Vietnamese President.
The two leaders also reached a consensus on continuing delegation exchanges, maximising the operation of bilateral cooperative mechanisms, and enhancing co-operation efficiency across all fields.
They renewed the resolve to carry out the protocol on bilateral defence and security cooperation for 2016-20, the protocol on border and border markers and the agreement on border and border gate management regulations signed early this year, and the new agreements on trade and border trade between the two countries.
The two countries will continue to enhance the connectivity and mutual supplementation of their economies while promoting cultural and people-to-people exchanges and coordinating to hold activities to mark the 55th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relationship and the 40th year of the Việt Nam-Lao Amity and Cooperation Treaty next year.
The two leaders shared the view that the regional and world situation is seeing many complicated developments and agreed that the two countries should keep a close watch on the situation and maintain discussions to help each other ensure security and stability in their respective countries.
They affirmed that the two countries will coordinate closely at international and regional forums such as the United Nations, the ASEAN and sub-regional mechanisms.
President Quang pledged Việt Nam’s active and full support of Laos as Chair of the ASEAN.
The two sides reiterated the intention to coordinate closely to strengthen solidarity among the ASEAN, elevating the bloc’s central role in the regional security structure.
They underlined the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security and safety in the East Sea, and vowed to work together with other ASEAN countries for the peaceful settlement of disputes in the East Sea based on international law, the full and effective observance of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and the early conclusion of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea for the sake of peace, stability, co-operation and development in the region and the world as a whole.
The two leaders also agreed to promote coordination with each other and with other countries and international organisations for the sustainable and effective management and use of water resource in the Mekong River.
On the occasion of the visit, the Vietnamese President presented Sekong Province of Laos a school worth US$1 million.
Việt Nam and Laos boast a fruitful traditional relationship, which was fostered by Presidents Hồ Chí Minh and Kaysone Phomvihane, and has been nurtured by generations of the two countries’ Party and State leaders and people.
Politically, the two sides regularly conducted high-level meetings for their Party, State, National Assembly and Government leaders, and exchanges between their localities.
The latest visits to Việt Nam were made by Lao Party General Secretary and President Bounhang Vorachith in April 2016 and Lao Prime Minister Thoongloun Sisoulith a month later. Permanent member of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee (CPVCC)’s Secretariat Đinh Thế Huynh, head of the CPVCC’s Inspection Commission Trần Quốc Vượng and Secretary of the HCM City Party Committee Đinh La Thăng also visited Laos earlier in the year.
Besides, the bilateral economic cooperation has made big strides in recent years, creating a material foundation to consolidate the special ties between the two countries.
Vietnamese businesses have, to date, invested nearly $5 billion in 258 projects in Laos, mainly focusing on hydropower, mining, transport and industrial tree planting.
The two sides have also paid heed to collaboration in education-training and human resource development.
At present, close to 9,300 Lao officials and students are studying in Việt Nam while 425 Vietnamese students are learning in the neighbouring country.
Co-operation between localities sharing the border have also received due attention, which has been evidenced through the formation of economic and commercial zones at international and national border gates, the signing of a border trade agreement in June last year and the launch of the “one-stop-shop” customs model at the Lao Bảo -Densavan international border gate.
The security-defence co-operation has been maintained at a high level of trust. The two sides completed the project on increasing and upgrading the border marker system.
They also signed two important legal documents, namely the Protocol on Borderline and Border Markers and the Agreement on Regulations on the Management of Border and Border Gates on Land between the two governments.
The completion of the border marker system has contributed to improving the quality of the Việt Nam-Laos borderline, both legally and in reality.
The two sides are continuing the search and repatriation of remains of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and experts who died in Laos.
In order to develop the Việt Nam-Laos traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation intensively and effectively, senior leaders of the two countries committed to ceaselessly fostering and promoting the relationship and passing on it to younger generations.
The Vietnamese President’s visit to Laos will be followed by a two-day official visit to Cambodia with the aim of elevating the traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation, as well as the neighbourliness and cooperation with Cambodia to new heights.
The visits have been organised at the invitation of Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni. — VNS