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Vietnam's top leaders welcome Lao National Assembly President

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc affirmed Vietnam’s consistent policy of prioritising and developing special solidarity with Laos while receiving President of the Lao National Assembly Saysomphone Phomvihane in Hanoi on Monday.

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc affirmed Vietnam’s consistent policy of prioritising and developing special solidarity with Laos while receiving President of the Lao National Assembly Saysomphone Phomvihane in Hanoi on Monday.

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President Nguyen Xuan Phuc receives visiting President of the Lao National Assembly Saysomphone Phomvihane in Hanoi on Monday. 

Phuc highly appreciated and thanked Saysomphone for choosing Vietnam as the first country to visit in his capacity as President of the Lao NA, showing that the Lao Party, NA and Saysomphone have attached importance to the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries.

He also congratulated the Lao Party, State and people on the occasion of the 46th National Day of Laos (December 2).

The Vietnamese leader suggested the Parties, States and people of the two nations foster bilateral ties, maintain high-level visits and bilateral cooperation mechanisms, expand and improve the efficiency of cooperation in the fields of national defence-security, economy, trade, investment, energy and education-training.

He proposed jointly holding activities during Vietnam – Laos, Laos – Vietnam Friendship and Solidarity Year 2022 to mark the 60th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties and the 45th anniversary of the signing of the Vietnam – Laos Treaty of Amity and Cooperation.

Phuc also suggested the two nations work closely together and support each other at international forums, especially at the United Nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Vietnam will do its best to nurture the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation with Laos, especially in economic development, to bring practical benefits to the people of both countries, he stated.

Phomvihane, for his part, conveyed the regards from senior Lao Party and State leaders to Phuc.

He also informed the Vietnamese President about the outcomes of his earlier talks with National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue and his meeting with Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, including Vietnam’s assistance to Laos in the fight against COVID-19. 

Vietnamese, Lao top legislators want parliamentary ties to become 'exemplary model' in region, world

Chairman of Vietnam National Assembly (NA) Vuong Dinh Hue and Lao counterpart Saysomphone Phomvihane on Monday in Hanoi discussed various aspects of bilateral cooperation, as the latter is on a three-day official visit to Vietnam.

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Vietnamese National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue and spouse (left) welcome his Lao counterpart Saysomphone Phomvihane and spouse to Hanoi, Vietnam, on Monday. — VNA/VNS Photo Doan Tan

This is the first high-level international delegation to visit Vietnam’s NA in nearly two years due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On behalf of the leadership of the parliament, NA Chair Hue warmly welcomed Lao NA Chair Saysomphone's visit to Vietnam, expressing appreciation for the fact that the Lao legislator chose Vietnam as the first country to visit in his new capacity.

The visit is an important milestone, contributing to the consolidation and promotion of great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two Parties, States and peoples in general, and between the National Assembly of the two countries.

NA Chair Hue reaffirmed the Party and State’s consistent policy to attach great importance to and give the highest priority to preserving and promoting the close, unique and special relationship between Vietnam and Laos, and that Vietnam always wholeheartedly, strongly and comprehensively supported Lao’s reforms, nation-building and defence.

For his part, the top Lao legislator thanked Vietnam for its COVID-19 support, with donations of medical supplies worth US$6.3 million since the beginning of the pandemic.

He acknowledged the socio-economic development aid, totalling VND930 billion ($40.26 million), that Vietnam provided for Laos in 2020, when Vietnam itself was facing numerous challenges.

The Lao NA Chair also expressed gratitude for the Lao NA building that Vietnam financed and constructed as a gift for the Lao Party, State, and people, stressing that Laos will make full use of the building to make it truly stand out as a vivid demonstration of the special friendship and solidarity between the two countries.

During the talks, the two parliament chairs concurred in the assessment that political-diplomatic relations in all channels between Vietnam and Laos have been increasingly tightened.

In particular, the two sides have coordinated to successfully organise two official friendship visits by General Secretary and President of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith to Vietnam in June this year, and later, a visit from Vietnamese State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc to Laos in August, which both have yielded many important and substantive results, creating more impetus for comprehensive cooperation between the two countries.

Cooperation in the fields of security-defence, trade and investment, energy, transport connection, education and training, COVID-19 fight cooperation, and cooperation between localities and people-to-people exchanges have been given proper attention, the two leaders agreed.

The Lao NA Chair noted with appreciation how even with COVID-19, the two-way trade this year hit $948 million so far, up 28 per cent compared to the same period last year, while Vietnam is currently the third biggest investor in Laos out of 54 countries and territories, with 409 projects and capital totalling $1.9 billion.

The two NA leaders said bilateral parliamentary cooperation is flourishing, with the two NAs effectively carrying out the 2017 agreement with many diverse cooperation activities including high-level delegation visits, thematic discussions and experience sharing conferences, support for each other in capacity building for legislators and NA staff, as well as infrastructure and IT capacity.

The two chairs have discussed in detail the cooperation results of the two National Assemblies and covered orientations of cooperation for the future.

On that basis, the two Presidents agreed to consider amending and supplementing the cooperation agreement between the two countries’ NAs, focusing on a number of important items such as close coordination in supervision and facilitating the effective implementation of high-level agreements between the two countries, especially the key tasks in the Vietnam-Laos cooperation strategy for the 2021-30 period, Việt Nam-Laos cooperation agreement for the 2021-25 period, and other agreements.

The two want to make Vietnam-Laos parliamentary ties an exemplary model in the region and in the world.

NA Chairs Hue and Saysomphone agreed to strengthen exchanges between the two women parliamentarians and young parliamentarians, in tandem with seminars on implementing the role of the legislative body and conferences on the rich tradition of special relations between the two countries to help the younger generations understand the history and inherit this “great asset”.

Further exchanges, especially between people's councils of provinces and centrally-run cities, including neighbouring localities, should be encouraged, the two top legislators noted.

The two chairs agreed that Vietnam and Laos should continue to promote the trilateral parliamentary cooperation mechanism of Vietnam - Laos - Cambodia.

The two also agreed that they would propose to the Cambodian National Assembly and Senate to consider, when necessary, holding meetings involving the three countries’ parliament leaders in order to promote and improve the effectiveness of the Vietnam - Laos tripartite cooperation mechanism.

NA Chair Hue also wants the two parliaments to hold events commemorating the 60th anniversary of Vietnam-Laos bilateral diplomatic relations (September 5, 1962) and 45th anniversary of Vietnam-Laos Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation (signed in July 1977) in 2022.

On this occasion, the two NA Chairmen witnessed the handover ceremony of medical supplies worth $1 million by the Vietnamese NA to support Laos in COVID-19 prevention and control, including 2.1 million medical-grade masks, 100,000 COVID-19 test kits, along with protective gear, sanitisers, body temperature scanners and $100,000 in cash. 

Vietnam ready to assist Laos in fight against COVID-19: PM

Vietnam always stands side by side and stays ready to help Laos, within its ability, to push back the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh told President of the Lao National Assembly Saysomphone Phomvihane during their meeting in Hanoi on Monday.

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Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (right) welcomes Lao NA Chairman Saysomphone Phomvihane. VNA/VNS Photo Duong Giang

Both leaders said they were delighted to see that the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries have been increasingly strengthened in all areas, from politics, diplomacy, national defence-security, to economy, trade, investment, socio-culture, and education-training.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, two-way trade still surpassed US$1 billion in the first ten months of 2021, up over 30.1 per cent from the same period last year. Vietnam was the third biggest foreign investor in Laos, with 209 projects worth $5.18 billion.

Saysomphone expressed his profound thanks to the Vietnamese Party, State and people for providing timely and invaluable support to Laos in the fight against the pandemic.

Both leaders agreed to effectively carry out high-level agreements and prepare for the upcoming 44th meeting of the Vietnam – Laos Inter-Governmental Committee, continue working closely together to fight COVID-19, strengthen national defence-security collaboration, step up economic, trade and investment ties  as well as accelerating infrastructure projects such as Hanoi – Vientiane expressway and Vung Ang 1,2,3 seaports.

They pledged to continue effectively implementing signed education projects; jointly hold activities to celebrate the 60th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties and the 45th anniversary of the signing of the Vietnam – Laos Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in 2022; support each other at multilateral forums, especially in issues regarding each country’s security and development, as well as peace, stability and cooperation in the region, including the sustainable use and management of water sources in Mekong River, and the East Sea issue.

Top Lao legislator’s Vietnam visit grabs Lao headlines

Major Lao newspapers on December 7 gave wide coverage on the Laos National Assembly Chairman Xaysomphone Phomvihane’s current visit to Vietnam, saying the visit will not only help consolidate the close-knit relationship but also bolster all-round cooperation between the two countries.

National daily Pasaxon (People) highlighted Xaysomphone’s activities on December 6, including his high-level talks with his Vietnamese counterpart Vuong Dinh Hue during which they both agreed to tighten the special relationship and cooperation between the two countries and legislative bodies.

Xaysomphone and Hue also co-chaired a seminar sharing the two sides’ experience in organizing Q&A sessions and deciding on key projects.    

Meanwhile, the Vientiane Times ran an article praising cooperation between the two National Assemblies of Laos and Vietnam, emphasizing that this is Xaysomphone’s first foreign trip since he was elected Chairman of the Laos National Assembly earlier this year.

The newspaper quoted the two chief legislators during their talks saying the cooperative relationship between the two countries’ legislative bodies have flourished, from delegation exchanges to experience sharing in legislation.

Another Lao newspaper, PathetLao Daily, published on the front page a news story titled ‘Laos and Vietnam continue to deepen cooperation ties between the two National Assemblies’.

According to the article, the fact that Xaysomphone chose Vietnam as the first country to visit after being elected as the Speaker of the National Assembly of Lao PDR once again demonstrates the special nature of the relationship between the two countries.

Despite the impact of the prolonged COVID-19 outbreak, the article said the two National Assemblies of Laos and Vietnam have maintained close cooperation.   Most notably, the Vietnam National Assembly of Vietnam has assisted the Laos National Assembly in building its headquarters in Vientiane - a gift from the Party, State and people of Vietnam to the Party, State and people of Laos.

PathetLao Daily affirmed the official visit to Vietnam by Laos National Assembly Chairman Xaysomphone Phomvihane is expected to further strengthen the special and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries.

Source: Vietnam News/VOV

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