Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Lao Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith co-chaired the sixth ministerial consultation in the northern province of Quang Ninh on December 25.
Both sides expressed their delight at the considerable development of bilateral ties in various areas, with stronger political trust and regular visits at all levels. Two-way trade is estimated at 1.1-1.2 billion USD this year, up 12.6 percent from 2018, surpassing the set target.
They shared the view that 2020 will be an important year of both Vietnam and Laos because Vietnam will serve as Chair of ASEAN and a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council while Laos will host sub-regional mechanisms such as the Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam Summit and the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya -Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) Summit. Vietnam and Laos will also prepare for the National Party Congress of each country in 2021.
Minh asked the two foreign ministries to further lift bilateral ties amid complicated developments in the region and the world, and continue working closely together to prepare for high-level visits.
He suggested further improving the quality of consultations, diversifying and renewing forms of exchanges to share professional experience.
Saleumxay, for his part, said the two foreign ministries need to effectively implement high-level agreements and important cooperation mechanisms, initially the 42nd meeting of the Laos- Vietnam Inter-Governmental Committee slated for January 2020, as well as enhance consultations at regional and global forums, especially those within the ASEAN and UN frameworks.
He proposed that the two foreign ministries should work closely together on regional strategic issues to serve economic development and global integration, and sign a cooperation agreement for the 2021-2026 period during the next political consultation.
Laos will offer all possible support to Vietnam when the country serves as Chair of ASEAN and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 tenure, he said, adding that Laos backs ASEAN’s common stance on regional common security issues.
The two ministers spoke highly of collaboration between the two foreign ministries in line with their 2014-2020 cooperation agreement as well as annual cooperation mechanisms.
They updated each other about foreign policy of each country and extensively discussed regional and global issues of shared concern, including the strategic environment in Asia-Pacific, cooperation in ASEAN, sub-regional development and the East Sea issues.
The ministers highlighted the observance of international law and ASEAN’s central role in regional architecture, and vowed to continue working closely together at regional and global forums, helping to improve the position of each nation on the international arena.
Following the consultation, the two ministers signed an action programme on cooperation in further promoting economic diplomacy between the two foreign ministries for the 2020 – 2025 period./.VNA