Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Lao counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith (Source: VNA)

Vientiane (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had a cordial meeting with Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith of Laos in Vientiane on September 6 prior to the opening session of the 28th and 29th ASEAN Summits and related meetings.

PM Phuc reasserted Vietnam’s support for Laos’s ASEAN Presidency after speaking highly of the country’s successful organisations of a host of activities of the bloc.

The Lao PM pledged that his country will work with other ASEAN countries and dialogue partners to preserve the bloc’s unity and promote the outcomes of its conferences so to contribute to maintaining peace and stability in the region and the world at large.

The leaders showed their delight at the growing bilateral ties and agreed to ratchet up measures to optimise economic cooperation.

Following the opening session, PM Phuc had a meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, the first ever of the two leaders.

They were delighted that the two countries’ relations had robust developments across the board and affirmed they place importance on the bilateral strategic partnership.

President Duterte expressed his wish for broader cooperation within the strategic partnership as well as in combating human trafficking, protecting migrant labourers, and in cultural and social affairs, and thanked Vietnam for helping his country in ensuring food security.

The leaders stressed the importance of maintaining peace and security, stepping up cooperation, and handling disputes by peaceful measures in compliance with international law and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982, in the East Sea and consented to work together for those goals.

The leaders also sought to reinforce the two countries’ coordination through the foreign ministries’ relationship and other cooperative mechanisms.
They agreed to prioritise pushing for stronger economic cooperation and facilitate operations of respective investors.

The two countries will continue supporting each other when Vietnam assumes the APEC Chair and the Philippines takes on the ASEAN Presidency in 2017, they said.

PM Phuc invited President Duterte to visit Vietnam and the Philippine President accepted the invitation with pleasure.-VNA