Vietnam and Laos, two neighbouring countries in South-East Asia enjoy healthy relations with each other. The bilateral great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation were founded by Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh and Laos Presidents Kaysone Phomvihane and Souphanouvong, and have been nurtured by generations of leaders and people of the two countries. The two countries share a common foreign policy vision of peace and multilateralization and diversification of relationships. Both countries are members of prominent international multilateral forums apart from the United Nations, such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

The visit of Laos Party General Secretary and State President Thongloun Sisoulith along with a high-ranking delegation of the Lao Party and State from June 28-29, 2021 to Hanoi has further strengthened the relations between the two countries. During the visit, the Laos leader held talks with Vietnamese Party leader Nguyen Phu Trong, met President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, and National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue.

Thongloun Sisoulith appreciated the comprehensive achievements Vietnam has recorded after 35 years of “Doi moi” (renewal) and congratulated the country on the success of the 13th National Party Congress as well as the election of deputies to the 15th National Assembly. The Vietnamese President congratulated Laos on being elected as Vice President of the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), and stated that this reflected the increasingly growing prestige of Laos in the international arena.

The two countries affirmed that the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Laos are an invaluable asset of the two peoples. They emphasised the goal of national independence and socialism and affirmed to continue to stand side by side and support each other in the construction and development cause of each country. The countries exchanged and agreed on guidelines and measures to continue developing the great friendship, special solidarity, and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Laos in an extensive, effective and substantive manner. A joint statement was issued during the meeting of the two leaders. The joint statement stated that during this visit, the two sides informed each other about the situation of each Party and each country. They exchanged and agreed on guidelines and measures to continue developing the great friendship, special solidarity, and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Laos in an extensive, effective and substantive manner. They also exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual concern.

The two sides expressed their firm belief that the cause of renewal, national construction and defence in Vietnam and Laos will continue to gain greater achievements, constantly improving the role and position of each country in the region and in the world, firmly towards the socialist path. The two countries agreed to continue deepening political relations to achieve greater efficiency; closely cooperate in strategic issues related to security and development of each country; maintain visits and meetings between senior leaders of the two parties and countries; and build some historical monuments of significance in the Vietnam – Laos relations.

The two countries agreed to make efforts to improve cooperation efficiency, to step up the connection of transport, energy, telecommunications and tourism infrastructure and strengthen the exchange of experience in macroeconomic management between the two countries. Preferential policies will be issued to encourage enterprises of the two countries to invest in the fields of potential and strengths of the two sides, while solutions will be synchronously deployed to increase two-way trade turnover, said the joint statement.

The joint statement said that the two sides have closely coordinated in the prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic and promoted cooperation and support to each other to overcome difficulties for socio-economic development. The two sides emphasised the importance and agreed to further strengthen cooperation on defence and security, ensuring solid support for each other, build the Vietnam-Laos border line of peace, friendship, stability, cooperation, and sustainable development as well as effectively implement the protocols and cooperation plans on defence, security and border.

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