Opening the article, Foreign Minister Minh said the exemplary, loyal and transparent relationship is the “invaluable property” and also an important factor in ensuring the development in both countries.
Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh - Photo: VGP
He stressed that the special Vietnam-Laos relationship, solidarity and comprehensive cooperation, built by President Ho Chi Minh and President Kaysone Phomvihane, fostered by Vietnamese and Lao Parties and generations of Vietnamese and Lao people, have been developing vigorously in various fields.
During the Solidarity and Friendship Year, the two countries planned to organize a series of events to mark the 35th anniversary of signing the Friendship and Cooperation Treaty and 50th founding anniversary of diplomatic relations.
Regarding political relations, both countries have regularly exchanged high-ranking visits, especially after they successfully organized National Party Congresses and parliamentary elections.
Last year, Vietnam welcomed the visits made by Lao President Choummaly Sayasone from August 8-10, Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong from February 28-March 2, Chairwoman of the National Assembly Pany Yathotu from August 24-27, and Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad in October.
Meanwhile, Party leader Nguyen Phu Trong, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc also paid official visits to Laos in 2011.
Since the begging of this year, the exchange of delegations have been accelerated, including the visits made by Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong to Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Binh Dinh provinces, Chairwoman of the National Assembly Pany Yathotu among others.
The two countries have established National Steering Committees for the Vietnam-Laos Solidarity and Friendship Year 2012 and are working together to organize celebrating activities in a practical way.
Cooperation mechanisms between the two sides have been maintained and promoted fruitfully. At the 34th meeting of the Inter-governmental Committee in January this year, both sides affirmed to effectively realize agreements reached by high-ranking leadres and coordinate to successfully organize the Vietnam-Laos Solidarity and Friendship Year 2012.
They also unanimously agreed to boost cooperation in various fields, especially economics and investment and improve the efficiency of the Inter-governmental Committee.
For security and national defense, cooperation in this field has been unceasingly strengthened, particulary in training work. Both countries signed annual and five-year cooperative agreements, coordinated closely to ensure political stability and social order and safety, effectively prevented hostile forces’ plots.
The situation along borderline has been basically stable, which created favorable conditions for socio-economic development in the region. Vietnam and Laos pledged to complete the construction of landmarks along the border line by 2014.
In terms of investment and trade, Vietnam is the second biggest foreign investor in Laos with over 200 projects capitalized at US$3.57 billion. The two sides pledged to lift up the two-way trade value to US$1 billion in 2012 and US$2 billion by 2015.
Education cooperation also reaped major achievements. Both sides signed and have implemented the Project on improving the quality and efficiency of Vietnam-Laos cooperation in education and human resource development for the 2011-2020 period. Cooperation in other fields has also been deepened.
Noticeably, cooperation among localities has been paid due care, Foreign Minister highlighted.
Regarding mutilateral aspect, both countries beefed up coordination at regional and international cooperation frameworks like ASEAN, ASEM, CLV, CLMV, ACMECSEAS among others.
Vietnam actively provides assistance to Laos to host the 9th ASEM and the 7th Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting (ASEP 7) at the end of 2012, and enhance cooperation among Mekong River Commission and other sub-region cooperation frameworks.
In the future, the two countries continue to affirm their strong determination to maintain and lift up the traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation to higher levels, contributing to ensuring political stability, sustainable economic development and deep integration.
To realize the aforesaid targets, leaders of the two countries agreed to focus on the following orientations:
Both sides will continue to boost exchange of delegations at all levels in a bid to increase solidarity and mutual confidence, effectively popularize the Book “History of the Special Relationship between Vietnam and Laos in 1930-2007.
The two countries will continue coordinating closely to build a borderline of stability and comprehensive development, speeding up the project on embellishing the border landmark system.
Vietnam and Laos will focus on implementing the 2011-2020 Strategy for economic, cultural, scientific-technological cooperation, the Agreement on economic, cultural, scientific and technological cooperation for the 2011-2012, and the 2011-2020 Project on improving the quality and efficiency of Vietnam-Laos cooperation in education and human resource development.
The two neighbors also pledged to enhance information exchange and closely coordinate at multilateral forums, push up the building of ASEAN Community, expand cooperation in ASEAN, GMS, ACMECS, CLV.
Foreign Minister Minh concluded his article by saying that Vietnamese people are proud of having loyal and transparent friends like Lao people during the past struggle for national liberation and the current national construction as well.
He expressed his sincere desire that Lao Party and people would successfully build a prosperous and strong country with open foreign policy and rising role in the international arena.
The Vietnamese top diplomat also expressed his belief that under the spirit of the Solidarity and Friendship Year, the two Parties, States and people would strive to inherit and nurture the special relationship, contributing to national construction causes in Vietnam and Laos, to peace, stability, cooperation and development in Southeast Asia and the world at large.
By Hai Minh