|A delegation of Vietnamese high-level officials led by Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc attend the State funeral of General Sisavath Keobounphanh in Viaentiane on Wednesday. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất|
HÀ NỘI — The Communist Party of Việt Nam (CPV) Central Committee, the National Assembly, the President, the Government, and the Việt Nam Fatherland Front Central Committee on Wednesday sent a message of condolences to their Lao counterparts over the recent passing of former Prime Minister Sisavath Keobounphanh.
General Sisavath Keobounphanh passed away on May 12. He served as a member of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) Central Committee from the 1st to 8th tenures, Secretary of the LPRP Central Committee for the 3rd and 4th terms, and a member of the Politburo during the 4th, 6th, 7th and 8th tenures.
He was also Minister of Agriculture and Forestry and Minister of Interior before serving as Vice President of Laos from 1996-98 and Prime Minister from 1998-2001. He was also former chairman of the Lao Front for National Construction (LFNC) Central Committee.
The condolence message wrote that the Vietnamese Party, State and people highly appreciated General Sisavath Keobounphanh’s great contributions to the Lao people's past struggle for national independence as well as in the current process of national reform, protection, construction and development.
His death was a huge loss to the Lao Party, State and people, and his family, wrote the message, adding that the Vietnamese Party, State and people lost a close friend and comrade who made very important contributions to establishing, reinforcing and developing the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Việt Nam and Laos.
The Vietnamese Party, State and people believed that their Lao counterparts will soon overcome this great loss and continue striving to build a more prosperous Laos.
The same day, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Phạm Bình Minh extended his condolences to Lao Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumxay Kommasith.
President of the VFF Central Committee Trần Thanh Mẫn cabled a message of condolences to Chairman of the LFNC Central Committee Saysomphone Phomvihane.
Chairman of the CPV Central Committee's Commission for External Relations Hoàng Bình Quân, and Minister - Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tiến Dũng also sent messages of condolences to Chairman of the LPRP Central Committee's Commission for External Relations Sounthone Xayachack, and Minister - Chairman of the Lao Government Office Phet Phomphiphak, respectively.
Meeting with Lao officials
On the occasion of attending the State funeral in Laos, Vietnamese PM Nguyễn Xuân Phúc met with Lao Party General Secretary and President Bounnhang Vorachit, and PM Thongloun Sisoulith.
On behalf of the Vietnamese Party, State and people, PM Phúc expressed his deep condolences to the Lao Party, State and people and the bereaved.
Party General Secretary and President Bounnhang Vorachit thanked the Vietnamese Party, State and people for supporting Laos over the past time, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also praised Việt Nam for its achievements in curbing the disease, and initially recovering economic activities.
PM Phúc affirmed that Việt Nam is willing to provide more assistance for Laos so that the two countries could stabilise the situation and focus on socio-economic development soon.
The two sides agreed to strengthen co-ordination to implement effectively agreements reached at the 42nd inter-governmental meeting, and recover economic partnership in the post-pandemic period.
The Lao leaders spoke highly of Việt Nam's successful assumption of the role as the ASEAN Chair 2020, especially addressing the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, while intensifying the bloc’s cooperation by successfully holding video conferences, particularly the ASEAN and ASEAN+3 summits on COVID-19.
Laos pledged to continue working closely with and supporting Việt Nam to fulfill its roles as the ASEAN Chair 2020 and a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2020-21 tenure. — VNS