Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son and his Lao counterpart Saleumxay Kommasith on June 6 highlighted their countries’ mutual support in the COVID-19 combat and identified ways to augment bilateral relations.
Foreign Ministers Bui Thanh Son of Vietnam (R) and Saleumxay Kommasith of Laos meet in China’s Chongqing city on June 6
The bilateral meeting took place in China’s Chongqing city, on the sidelines of the Special ASEAN - China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and the 6th Lancang - Mekong Cooperation Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.
Son expressed his delight at the first official meeting between the foreign ministers of Vietnam and Laos since their respective countries’ national Party congresses and the establishment of their new-term governments.
He spoke highly of the two sides’ coordination to effectively carry out many major bilateral diplomatic activities, thus maintaining frequent meetings and contact at all levels despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hailing bilateral cooperation and mutual assistance in the COVID-19 fight, he thanked the Lao Party and State leaders for extending sympathies to Vietnam on the pandemic situation in Vietnam.
The minister also voiced his hope that Vietnam’s financial aid, medical supplies, and health experts sent to Laos will help with the latter’s efforts against the pandemic.
Kommasith congratulated Vietnam on the successful organisation of the elections of deputies to the 15th National Assembly and all-level People’s Councils for the 2021-2026 tenure amid complex COVID-19 developments in many localities.
He thanked the Vietnamese Party, State, and people for their precious material and spiritual support for Laos in the pandemic combat, affirming that his country is always ready to stand side by side with Vietnam in line with the spirit of the countries’ great friendship, special solidarity, and comprehensive cooperation.
To continue intensifying bilateral relations, the two foreign ministers agreed to jointly promote mutual visits and contact at all levels in various forms; make the best use of bilateral cooperation mechanisms, especially meetings of the Inter-Governmental Committee; and unceasingly improve the effectiveness of cooperation in defence, security, trade, and investment.
They also discussed coordination to step up important joint programmes, especially transport connectivity projects so as to optimise the Vietnam - Laos International Seaport (Vung Ang Seaport).
Both agreed to enhance ties in border management to prevent illegal exit from and entry into their countries, sustain cross-border trading, and soon review the one-stop-shop model applied at the Lao Bao - Densavan border gate pair.
Vietnam and Laos also concurred in increasing coordination and mutual support at international, regional, and sub-regional forums and joining hands with other member countries to firmly maintain ASEAN’s solidarity and strengthen the bloc’s centrality in order to effective respond to common challenges.
Regarding their ministries’ cooperation, the two foreign ministers pledged to continue implementing the cooperation agreement for 2021 - 2025, including organising political consultations at the ministerial and deputy ministerial levels, boosting information sharing and strategic research, and holding more exchanges between the ministries’ key units.
They emphasised the importance of economic diplomacy, agreeing to increase experience sharing and effectively carry out the action plan for cooperation in this field for 2020 - 2025.
The two countries will early start preparations for celebrations of the 60th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties and 45 years since the signing of the Vietnam – Laos Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation next year, according to the officials./.VNA