Laos, Turkey further relations, strengthen cooperation

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) -- Laos and Turkey have furthered enhancement of diplomatic relations and cooperation with the East European country officially opening an embassy in the Asean member country on Wednesday.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumxay Kommasith joined his Turkish counterpart, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, and high ranking officials from Laos and Turkey to officially open the embassy in Vientiane.

“We look forward to working closely with you and the Turkish embassy in Laos to further enhance bilateral relations and cooperation,” Mr Saleumxay said in his address to his Turkish counterpart at the inauguration ceremony.

The visit by Mr Cavusoglu to Laos is the first by a Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs since the two countries established diplomatic relations on June 26, 1958.

According to the Turkish Foreign Minister, the opening of the embassy in Laos means Turkey now has embassies in all 10 Asean countries.

Turkey was given sectoral dialogue partnership status by Asean at the Asean Ministerial Meeting held in Manila last year.

“Turkey has been enjoying this status and together we have implemented the roadmap that we submitted before we were given this status,” said Mr Cavusoglu, noting that Asean and Asia were important for his country.

At yesterday’s bilateral meeting between the two foreign ministers, they said they highly valued their cooperation ties and mutual support, noting that the two countries have experienced a permanent good relationship since they established diplomatic ties.

This has been proven through mutual support on the international stage and reciprocal visits by various delegations. They said they appreciated their 60 years of diplomatic relations and the opening of the Turkish Embassy in Laos, which they said was an important milestone in furthering cooperation between the two countries.

The two sides discussed future bilateral and multilateral cooperation, and exchanged views on current international affairs.

After the meeting, the two ministers signed an agreement on visa exemption for diplomatic passport holders between the governments of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the Republic of Turkey.

Mr Cavusoglu and his delegation also paid a courtesy visit to Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, and visited cultural landmarks in Vientiane.