Laos, Vietnam pledge to further enhance ties

09:45, June 24, 2011      

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Secretary General of the Vietnamese Communist Party and President of Vietnam's National Assembly Nguyen Phu Trong concluded his official goodwill visit to Laos on Wednesday. Both countries pledge to further enhance bilateral cooperation and friendship.

Local media reported Thursday that Nguyen expressed the commitment to ceaselessly developing the traditional friendship with Laos and pass on the solidarity and cooperation between the two countries to the next generation.

He added that Vietnam considered the relationship a "strategic principle, a rule of development and a factor that ensures the success of national construction and defense causes in each nation. "

Secretary General of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party and President of Laos Choummaly Sayasone was quoted by the state-run Vientiane Times as saying, "We strongly believe that (Nguyen's) visit to Laos will strengthen relations, friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Laos and Vietnam."

Lao National Assembly (NA) President Pany Yathortou said, "The visit is not only a great encouragement for the Lao people but also helps bring the Laos-Vietnam traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation to a new level."

During his visit from June 20-22 at the invitation of President Choummaly, Nguyen told the Lao NA that Vietnam would actively assist Laos with its World Trade Organization membership bid, and also help its neighbor to host the Ninth Asia-Europe Meeting in Vientiane next year.

"Our countries will celebrate 2012 as a year of friendship and solidarity between Laos and Vietnam, and coordinate activities to mark the historic occasions of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and the 35th anniversary of the Friendship and Cooperation Treaty."

He added that the two nations would "actively step up efforts to boost efficient cooperation in all areas, especially in promoting education and human resources development."

During the three-day visit, both sides agreed to strongly promote strategic agreements on economic cooperation, culture, education, and science and technology from 2011 to 2020, and a bilateral cooperation agreement for 2011 to 2015.

The neighbors will also focus on economic cooperation projects that play a role in linking the two countries economically, boosting regional and global integration, as well as targeting bilateral trade value of 2 billion U.S. dollars by 2015.

During his stay, Nguyen also met Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong, Vice President of the Lao Front for National Construction Tong Yeuthor and President of the Lao-Vietnamese Friendship Association Phankham Viphavanh as well as other Lao government officials, and visited Savannakhet province.

Nguyen was elected as General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Vietnamese Communist Party in 2011. His visit to Laos was his first foreign visit since he took office.

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