Lao PM holds talks with Chinese, Vietnamese, Cambodian counterparts

PHNOM PENH (Vientiane Times/ANN) - Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc this week agreed to work together to further enhance friendly relations and boost cooperation between Laos and Vietnam, the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said. 

The agreement was reached at a meeting between the two premiers held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Wednesday.

The two premiers were in Cambodia to attend the 2nd Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) Leaders’ Meeting. The LMC countries, so named because the Mekong River runs through them, comprise Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The premiers pledged to push for greater fruitful cooperation between their two countries, the ministry said in a press release.

The two leaders said they highly valued the successful activities both sides had organised to mark Laos-Vietnam friendship and solidarity year 2017, which marked the 55th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Laos and Vietnam, and the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Friendship and Cooperation Treaty between the two countries.

They hailed the fruitful coordination between Laos and Vietnam, which contributed to the successful outcomes of the 2nd LMC Leaders’ Meeting.

The two prime ministers discussed preparations for the upcoming meeting between their countries’ politburos and the 40th Laos-Vietnam Intergovernmental Cooperation Committee scheduled to take place in February.

Mr Thongloun thanked the Vietnamese prime minister for his role in pushing the Vietnamese side in signing and realising a number of cooperation agreements with Laos. These included the construction of a new building for the Lao National Assembly, for which Vietnam has extended financial assistance. Mr Nguyen Xuan Phuc congratulated Laos on co-chairing the LMC for 2018-2020 together with China.

In a meeting with his Chinese counterpart, PM Thongloun and Premier Li Keqiang agreed to work together to realise the successful outcomes of the state visit to Laos by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who came to Laos on November 13-14.

The two countries signed 17 cooperation deals during the two-day visit by President Xi. The two prime ministers pledged to push for the construction and completion of the Laos-China railway, which is currently under construction.

The two sides discussed ways to ensure the successful Laos-China co-chairmanship of the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation during 2018-2020.

They also exchanged views on the organisation of the China International Import Expo, scheduled to take place in Shanghai in November.

Mr Thongloun will lead a Lao delegation to the expo, according to the Lao ministry.

Yesterday, PM Thongloun held talks with Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun  Sen concerning further cooperation.

During the 2nd LMC Leaders’ Meeting, the leaders of the six countries reviewed their cooperation over past years in line with the Sanya Declaration, which was adopted at the first LMC Leaders’ Meeting held in Sanya, China. The LMC leaders also discussed future cooperation plans. The meeting congratulated the successful establishment of national secretariats for LMC coordination in each member country.

The meeting congratulated China on the successful establishment of the Lancang-Mekong Water Resource Cooperation Centre, Lancang-Mekong Environment Cooperation Centre, and International Centre for Mekong Studies, as well as an approval to utilise money in the Lancang-Mekong Special Fund to finance various related projects.

The meeting adopted four documents aimed at boosting cooperation in the coming years. These included the Phnom Penh Declaration and five-year plan of action for 2018-2022.

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