Party General Secretary and National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong arrived in Vientiane on June 20, beginning his three-day official, friendly visit to Laos.

After a welcoming ceremony broadcast live by Lao National Television and a reception given by General Secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and State President Choummaly Sayasone, talks were held.

Choummaly Sayasone welcomed the official friendly visit to Laos by the Vietnamese Party and legislative leader, saying that it was an honour for Laos to be the first country to welcome Trong in the early period of the new term of the two parties and right after the successful organisation of National Assembly elections in each country.

He affirmed Trong’s current visit to Laos was an encouragement for the entire Party, people and armies of both countries.

Trong said Vietnam was pleased with the great, historical and meaningful achievements that Laos recorded in its national defence and construction, and described Vietnam’s satisfaction with these results.

The leaders expressed gratitude for the wholehearted, valuable and effective support and help that both Parties, States and people provided each other during the revolutionary struggle, construction and development of each Party and country.

They agreed that renewal achievements and the development of Vietnam and Laos over the past 25 years had consolidated the independence and sovereignty of each nation, improved the people’s living conditions and strength of each country, tightened and deepened the special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two Parties, States and peoples, while contributing to peace, national independence, democracy and social progress in the world.

Both party leaders informed each other of issues about their respective Party and country and highly valued the strong development of the relations between the two Parties, States and peoples in recent years.

They resolved to maintain and promote the traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Laos fostered by President Ho Chi Minh and President Kaysone Phomvihane and succeeding leaders of the two Parties, States and peoples, saying this represented the rule of existence and development, was an important element to ensure the victory of each country’s revolutionary cause and a invaluable treasure of both Parties and peoples to the younger generations.

Both sides also agreed to boost bilateral comprehensive cooperation on the basis of promoting the spirit of independence, self-reliance, equal cooperation and mutual benefit with the combination of the Vietnam-Laos special ties and international rule, unceasingly raising the quality and efficiency of bilateral cooperation for development and prosperity in each country, for peace, stability, cooperation and development in Southeast East Asia and the world.

The two sides said the two countries would increase meetings and contacts between the senior Party and State leaders through different forms, enhance exchanges of theories and expand exchange and cooperation between ministries, departments and committees of the national assemblies, mass organisations and localities of the two countries, as well as educate the people, especially the youth, about the Vietnam-Laos special solidarity.

They spoke highly of the outcomes of the 33 rd session of the Vietnam-Laos Inter-Governmental Committee, affirming to work closely to implement the Strategic agreement on economic, cultural, educational and scientific-technological cooperation for the 2011-2015 period, and the 2011 cooperation agreement.

Vietnam and Laos strive to bring their two-way trade to 2 billion USD by 2015, increase cooperation in building economic projects that will link the two countries’ economy and with the region and the world, and continue to expand and improve the quality of cooperation in education-training and human resource development, they said.

They were unanimous on measures to boost cooperation in defence and security and maintain social order and safety, to prevent and destroy all acts of sabotage from hostile forces, fight cross-border crime, continue cooperation in searching and returning remains of Vietnamese voluntary soldiers and experts who sacrificed their lives in Laos, to complete the project on the upgrade of national land markers by 2014 and build the border line into peace, friendship, cooperation and development in a comprehensive, sustainable and long-lasting manner.

During their talks, the two sides also affirmed a common perception on regional and international issues of common concern, agreed to enhance exchange of information and coordination at international and regional organisations, in which both countries were members, especially in the ASEAN cooperation framework and sub-regional cooperation mechanisms in line with benefit of the two countries’ peoples, contributing to building a strong ASEAN Community, maintaining peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.

They also agreed to promote cooperation in maintaining, protecting and using the Mekong River’s water in an effective and sustainable manner, to ensure harmony of benefits of people living along the river and effectively respond to impacts of climate change.

The two sides affirmed desires to join with concerned parties to solve the East Sea issue by peaceful measures in line with international law, the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), in order to maintain peace, stability and cooperation in the region.

Vietnam fully backed and spared no effort to support Laos to soon join the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and host the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit in 2012 as well as international events in Laos, Trong said.

He took this opportunity to unveil a present of a cultural house to Savannakhet province – the native land of President Kaysone Phomvihane.

The two sides reached consensus on naming 2012 as the “Year of Vietnam-Laos friendly solidarity” to celebrate the 50 th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties and the 35 th anniversary of signing the Vietnam-Laos friendship and cooperation agreement.

They also agreed that important outcomes to be reached during the visit to Laos by Party General Secretary and National Assembly Chairman Trong would create a strong drive for deep and strong development of the two countries’ traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation.

The Vietnamese leader on this occasion invited General Secretary and President Choummaly Sayasone to visit Vietnam. The Lao leader accepted the invitation with pleasure./.