Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong describes the elderly villagers and village leaders are the backbone of the villages. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong had a meeting in Hanoi on December 21 with outstanding elderly villagers and village leaders from different ethnic minority groups across the country.

The meeting, part of a programme jointly held by the Communist Review, the Government Committee for Ethnic Affairs and the Border Guard High Command for the first time, aims to honour 163 delegates from 45 ethnic minority groups in 35 cities and provinces nationwide. The oldest is 82 years old and the youngest is 28.

Party leader and President Trong lauded the idea of organising the meeting, while expressing his delight at improved living conditions of the ethnic minority groups, attributing the changes to the strong solidarity of the 54 groups of the country.

He described the elderly villagers and village leaders are the backbone of the villages, showing his hope that the ethnic groups will continue promoting solidarity to complete all national construction and defence tasks.

The leader recognised contributions of the border guard force in safeguarding peace in the country’s border areas.

The delegates said that they are pleased at the great socio-economic and cultural achievements that the country has made.

They promised that they and the ethnic groups will continue joining hands together and support each other to overcome all difficulties.

They expressed their absolute belief in the leadership of the Party and State, pledging that they will keep close coordination with authorised forces to firmly protect the country’s border and land markers, contributing to building a borderline of friendship, cooperation and development.

According to Minister-Chairman of the Government Committee of Ethnic Affairs Do Van Chien, Vietnam has 1,019 border communes in 235 districts of 44 provinces neighbouring Laos, China, and Cambodia.-VNA