President Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) and Lao Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh (Photo: VNA)
They include Khamtai Siphandone, former President of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP) and former President of Laos; and former Party General Secretaries and former Presidents Choummaly Sayasone, and Bounnhang Vorachith.
On the same day, President Phuc received Sinlavong Khutphaythoun, President of the Lao Front for National Construction Central Committee, and Khambay Damlath, President of the Laos – Vietnam Friendship Association Central Committee.
At these meetings, the current and former leaders of Laos stressed that President Phuc's selection of Laos for his first overseas visit in his new position showed that the Vietnamese Party and State, and the President himself have attached special importance to preserving, protecting and nurturing the great friendship, special solidarity, and comprehensive cooperation between the two nations.
President Phuc and the current and former leaders of Laos highly evaluated each other country's measures to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic in the past time. They expressed their delight at prompt mutual support between the two nations amid the pandemic.
Agreeing on orientations for collaboration in the time to come, they highlighted the need to well coordinate with each other in the implementation of high-level agreements, the Agreement on Bilateral Cooperation for 2021-2025, and the Vietnam-Laos Cooperation Strategy for 2021-2030.
They agreed to support the Vietnamese and Lao Governments in speeding up the implementation of important joint projects such as Vung Ang ports, Hanoi-Vientiane expressway, Vientiane-Vung Ang railway, Laos-Vietnam friendship park in Vientiane, Nongkhang airport, and hospitals in Laos’s Houaphan and Xiangkhouang provinces.
They agreed to strengthen Vietnam – Laos collaboration at multilateral forums, particularly at the UN, ASEAN, and sub-regional cooperation mechanisms, to contribute to peace, stability, and development in the region and in the world.
In the evening of August 9, General Secretary of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party Central Committee and President of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith and his spouse hosted a banquet in honour of President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, his wife and the Vietnamese delegation.
Vietnamese, Lao ministries, commissions forge cooperation
Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son and his Lao counterpart, Saleumxay Kommasith, agreed to enhance the bilateral cooperation during their meeting in Vientiane on August 9.
The two sides will prepare for the Vietnam-Laos Solidarity and Friendship Year 2022 to celebrate the 60th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties and 45 years of the signing of the Vietnam-Lao Treaty of Amity and Cooperation.
They shared the view that the two countries have fruitfully cooperated both bilaterally, and at regional and international forums, especially within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Vietnam and Laos, and other ASEAN member nations have made efforts in building the ASEAN Community that plays a central role in evolving regional mechanisms, while joining hands to combat COVID-19 and handle emerging issues.
The ministers agreed to enhance coordination between agencies of the two ministries, and organise the sixth political consultation at the deputy foreign ministerial level at the end of this year.
The two sides will also prepare for in-person political consultations and exchanges between the two ministries after the pandemic is put under control to discuss the bilateral cooperation specifically and pragmatically.
They will also further exchange experience in different fields and promote economic diplomacy.
The meeting took place within the framework of the official friendly visit to Laos by President Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
The same day, Chairman of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee's Commission for External Relations Le Hoai Trung had a working session with Chairman of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP) Central Committee's Commission for External Relations Thongsavanh Phomvihane.
The officials briefed each other on the situation of each Party and country, and discussed regional and global issues of shared concern.
They also looked at collaboration between the two Parties and countries, including coordination in organising visits by high-ranking leaders.
They affirmed their determination to closely coordinate to effectively implement agreements reached by senior leaders of the two Parties and countries, as well as the cooperation agreement between the two commissions for 2021-2025, and working harder to promote the Vietnam-Laos relationship.
Vietnam, Laos seek to beef up trade, industry and justice ties
Vietnamese officials met in Vientiane on August 9 with their Lao counterparts to discuss ways to step up bilateral cooperation in industry, trade and justice as they were accompanying President Nguyen Xuan Phuc in his ongoing official visit to Laos.
In the meeting between Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien and his Lao counterpart Khampheng Xaysompheng, both sides expressed their delight at the recovery of the two-way trade in the first half of 2021, laying solid foundation for lifting the trade growth to 10 percent this year as planned by the two governments.
They agreed to accelerate talks to soon conclude a protocol amending the 2015 Vietnam-Laos trade agreement which is expected to be inked this year. They will also urge relevant agencies from both sides to fully implement the commitments of the bilateral border trade agreement.
Dien emphasised the importance of the construction of an expressway connecting Hanoi and Vientiane, saying it would form a basis for his ministry to encourage and support more Vietnamese enterprises to invest in Laos to make the most of the two nations’ potential for cooperation.
He later took the occasion to invite Lao Minister of Industry and Commerce Khampheng Xaysompheng to visit Vietnam at the earliest convenience and suggest the two countries hold a joint conference for cooperation in and development of industry and trade, and energy and mining in Vietnam.
On the same day, Vietnamese Minister of Justice Le Thanh Long met with his Lao counterpart Phaivy Siboualipha, who thanked Long and his ministry for always assisting and sharing experience with Laos.
Minister Long, for his part, proposed the two sides further deepen judicial ties via the periodic judicial conference between their border-sharing provinces and exchanges of delegations, documents and legal papers.
He also asked his host to speed up the granting of Lao citizenship to eligible Vietnamese people under the bilateral agreement on settlement of free migration and to jointly launch talks on an agreement on mutual legal assistance in civil matters.
Vietnamese State leader meets with Lao Vice Presidents
Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on August 10 had meetings with Lao Vice Presidents Pany Yathotu and Bounthong Chithmany as part of his ongoing official friendship visit to the neighbouring country.
At these meetings, President Phuc emphasised that the Party, State and people of Vietnam always attach great importance to and give the highest priority to consolidating and strengthening the traditional friendship, special solidarity, and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Laos, describing it an invaluable asset and a vital factor for the revolutionary cause of the two nations.
The Vietnamese President suggested the two sides continue to coordinate and effectively implement the signed agreements, promoting cooperation in all fields and facilitating important cooperation projects.
Vice Presidents Pany and Bounthong expressed their belief that the positive and practical outcomes of the Vietnamese leader’s visit will contribute to further tightening the special ties between the two countries for the interest of their people.
Earlier in the morning, President Phuc delivered an important speech at the first session of the 9th National Assembly of Laos, becoming the first foreign leader to do so at the new NA Building of Laos, 10 years after the speech of Party General Secretary and Chairman of the 11th NA of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong at the first session of the 7th NA of Laos in 2011.
The Vietnamese leader underscored that political relations will continue to become a key pillar in the overall special ties between Vietnam and Laos in the future, in which, the cooperation between the two legislative bodies plays a significant role.
The support of the two legislatures will serve as a firm legal foundation for the effective cooperation between the two Governments, Fronts, localities as well as social organisations, while helping encourage efforts and creativity of businesses and people of both nations, he said.
Chairman of the Lao NA Saysomphone Phomvihane thanked President Phuc for delivering the speech, which manifests the close friendship, solidarity and brotherhood between the two countries.
He affirmed that the two legislatures will exert every effort together to make contributions to the development of the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Laos and Vietnam.
Also on August 10, President Phuc, General Secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and President of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith and NA Chairman Saysomphone attended the inauguration and hand-over ceremony of the Lao NA Building, a gift presented by the Vietnamese Party, State and people to their Lao counterparts.
The building was finished after nearly 38 months of construction. Vietnam’s Ministry of Construction was the project’s main investor and Army Corps 11 of the Ministry of National Defence was the main constructor.
Covering a total area of 23,400sq.m, including a construction area of about 7,100sq.m, the new building is built on the foundation of the old one at Thatluang Square in downtown Vientiane. It has one basement and five storeys.
Addressing the ceremony, President Phuc reiterated Lao Party General Secretary and President Thongloun’s assessment that the building has “four best” – most modern, most harmonious in national identity, most solid, and having highest investment value.
On the occasion, President Phuc presented first- and second-class Labour Orders to a number of incumbent and former leaders of the Lao NA who made outstanding contributions to the direction of the building’s construction.
The top Lao leader also handed over a first-class Freedom Order to the Ministry of Construction, and two second-class Freedom Orders to the Project Management Board under the Ministry of Construction and Army Corps 11 under the Ministry of National Defence of Vietnam./.
Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc meets with Chairman of Lao NA
Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc met with Chairman of the Lao National Assembly Saysomphone Phomvihane on August 10.
The President congratulated Saysomphone on being elected as Chairman of the Lao National Assembly and highly appreciated the results of the first session of the 9th National Assembly, especially the adoption of key leadership positions and development policies for the 2021-2025 period of Laos.
At the meeting, Chairman Saysomphone warmly welcomed President Phuc on his official friendship visit to Laos, saying that the trip would contribute to further tightening the close relationship and special solidarity between the two countries, and expressed joy about the great and comprehensive achievements that the Vietnamese people have obtained in socio-economic development in recent years.
The two leaders were pleased to see that despite impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the cooperation between the two legislatures has still developed well with meetings and communications between senior leaders of the two agencies, share experience, coordinate to monitor agreements, and support each other at regional and international parliamentary forums.
The Vietnamese President said he supported the National Assemblies of the two countries to strengthen coordination and supervision to contribute to the effective implementation of high-level agreements which have been signed and sharing experience, especially building and perfecting institutions, legal systems, and supreme supervision of activities of State agencies.
The two legislatures should continue exchange experience, hold conferences and seminars in flexible forms and closely coordinate and support each other at regional and international parliamentary forums such as the International Parliamentary Union (IPU) and ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) as well as collaborate harmoniously and effectively in international and regional issues for peace, stability, cooperation and development.
President Phuc took the occasion to convey Vietnamese NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue's invitation to the Lao NA Chairman to pay an official visit to Vietnam.
Vietnam, Laos seek to boost legislative cooperation
Vice Chairman of the Vietnamese National Assembly (NA) Tran Thanh Man held talks with his Lao counterpart, Sounthone Xayachak, in Vientiane on August 10.
The two officials briefed each other on the political and socio-economic situation in each country.
Man, who has been accompanying President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his wife on their official friendship visit to Laos, shared the Vietnamese NA's experience in coordinating with the Government in implementing the “dual target” of fighting COVID-19 and boosting economic development at the same time.
They discussed specific measures to realise cooperation contents between the two sides in the time to come.
The two officials also exchanged ideas on how to foster coordination at regional and international inter-parliamentary forums of which both sides are members, as well as in international and regional issues of shared concern such as those related to peace, security and stability. They also discussed ways to promote the role of the two legislatures in building the ASEAN Community.
Both sides agreed to work closely together in organising activities to celebrate the 60th founding anniversary of Vietnam-Laos diplomatic ties and 45 years of the signing of the Vietnam-Laos Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in 2022.
On the occasion, Man conveyed NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue’s best regards and invitation to visit Vietnam to Chairman of the Lao NA Saysomphone Phomvihane and other leaders of the Lao legislature.
Man also invited Sounthone to visit Vietnam, and the invitation was accepted with pleasure./.
Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Lao Party General Secretary and President Thongloun Sisoulith promised to continue giving the highest priority to constantly consolidating and nurturing the great friendship,