National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân presents the title of Hero of the People’s Armed Forces to Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and experts in recognition of their dedication to the Lao revolution during the anti-US war. — VNA/VNS Photo Trọng Đức
HÀ NỘI — A ceremony was held in Hà Nội on Tuesday to mark the 70th anniversary of the traditional day of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and experts in Laos (October 30).
The event was attended by former and current leaders of the Party, State and Fatherland Front, veteran revolutionaries, heroes of the People’s Armed Forces, former soldiers and experts, and young people from the two countries.
Lao Party General Secretary and President Bounnhang Vorachith was also present at the ceremony.
Addressing the event, Minister of National Defence Gen. Ngô Xuân Lịch said in October 1945, the governments of Việt Nam and Laos signed a mutual assistance treaty and an agreement on the organisation of the coalition army.
From 1945 to 1947, the Vietnamese Party Central Committee and Government decided to develop overseas Vietnamese liberation troops in Laos.
On October 30, 1949, the standing board of the Indochinese Communist Party Central Committee decided the Vietnamese armed forces in Laos would be organised as volunteer soldiers.
Together with the Lao army, they launched a number of campaigns and attacks against French colonialists and American imperialists, with the legendary Trường Sơn–Hồ Chí Minh Trail becoming a symbol of Việt Nam – Laos special solidarity and combatant alliance during the fight against the US.
From 1973–75, some of the Vietnamese volunteers stayed on in Laos to help protect liberated areas towards national liberation and the establishment of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in late 1975.
In his speech, Lịch asked the two countries to continue fostering the special solidarity and comprehensive co-operation across politics, socio-economy-culture, and national defence-security, with the defence relationship becoming one of the pillars in the Việt Nam–Laos special ties.
Both nations were urged to build their people’s revolutionary, elite and modern armies as well as enhance joint work across Party and political work, and personnel training.
They needed to continue working closely together to build and protect a borderline of peace, friendship, stability and prosperity; hold border exchanges to share experience and raise mutual understanding, deal with the consequences of disasters and fight crime in border areas, the minister said.
He suggested jointly searching for and collecting the remains of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and experts who laid down their lives in Laos.
At the event, Lao Defence Minister Gen. Chansamon Chanyalat said the Lao Party, State and people would continue upholding their special relationship with their Vietnamese counterparts.
Deputy head of the liaison unit of Vietnamese volunteers and military experts in Laos, Lt. Gen. Nguyễn Quốc Thước, pledged to uphold the tradition of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and experts and serve as a bridge to lift the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive partnership between Việt Nam and Laos to a greater height, for the sake of peace, stability and prosperity in the two countries, the region and the world.
On the occasion, National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân presented the title of Hero of the People’s Armed Forces to Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and experts in recognition of their dedication to the Lao revolution during the anti-US war.
Party General Secretary and President of Laos Bounnhang Vorachith also presented a photo titled “Vietnamese volunteer soldiers bid farewell to Lao friends before returning home” to the liaison unit. — VNS