By VIENTIANE TIMES
ASIA NEWS NETWORK
At a meeting held between Laotian Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumxay Kommasith and his visiting Vietnamese counterpart Pham Binh Minh on Monday, the two sides discussed issues related to political cooperation, economics, defence, and border and public security.
Pham Binh Minh, who is also Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam, paid an official visit to Laos from December 24-26.
The two leaders reviewed their cooperation over the past year before discussing ways to bolster future cooperation. They also exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interest.
In 2017, the two nations will hold activities to mark the 65th anniversary of Laos-Vietnam diplomatic ties and the 40th anniversary of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation between Laos and Vietnam.
Following the bilateral talks, Saleumxay was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by the Party Central Committee's Commission for External Relations of Vietnam, in a ceremony attended by Pham Binh Minh.
The Vietnamese foreign minister called on President Bounnhang Vorachit and Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith to further discuss their cooperation and friendly relations.
The two sides praised the development of the special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Laos and Vietnam over past decades.
In recent months, Laos and Vietnam have exchanged visits of delegations at all levels and sectors, aiming to boost their relations.
Last week, Vietnamese Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Tri Dung visited Laos and called on President Bounnhang Vorachit and Deputy Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone.
He sought their support for changes in policies and laws to boost bilateral trade and investment, according to a Vietnam Net report.
They [Bounnhang and Sonexay] asked the two planning and investment ministries to accelerate the progress of delayed projects and make detailed reports on the environmental impacts of Vietnam-invested projects to ensure sustainable development, stated the Vietnam Net.
The hosts gave the green light for the continued implementation of a memorandum of understanding on developing hydropower projects and electricity purchases between the two nations.
As of March, Vietnam’s investments in Laos stood at about US$5 billion (Bt180 billion), according to a Tuoi Tre News report.
Laos tops the list of 68 countries and territories that have business operations in Vietnam, while Vietnam ranks second among nations investing in Laos.