Art performance at the festival's opening ceremony (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The second culture, sports and tourism festival in the Vietnam-Laos border area kicked off in the northern mountainous province of Son La on July 5 evening.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Vietnamese Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Nguyen Ngoc Thien, stressed that the event celebrates not only the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Laos, but also the 40th anniversary of the signing of the bilateral Treaty on Amity and Cooperation as well as to welcome the Year of the Vietnam-Laos Solidarity and Friendship 2017.

“The event affirms the long-standing traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Laos in a more developed, practical and effective way that meets the aspirations of the two people, for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world,” Thien said.

Chairwoman of the Vietnam’s National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and her Lao counterpart Pany Yathotou, together with officials from both countries and representatives of nine provinces in Vietnam and 10 provinces in Laos that share the border attended the ceremony.

The 10 provinces bordering Laos include Dien Bien and Son La in the north, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Nam in the central region and the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum.-VNA