Vietnamese Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (R) and his Lao counterpart Thoonglun Sisulith sign documents marking the project's completion (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – A State-level ceremony was held in Hanoi on March 16 to mark the completion of a project on increasing and upgrading border markers along the Vietnam – Laos boundary.

On behalf of the two countries’ Joint Committee for Border Marker Planting, Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Ho Xuan Son delivered a report on the project implementation.

The two sides carried out the project simultaneously along their shared border from 2008. They increased border markers in necessary areas to further clarify the border in reality. Meanwhile, existing markers, especially those at border gates, were upgraded, creating a system of solid and modern border markers, he said.

Under the project, 1,002 markers and stakes were planted along the countries’ 2,340km of joint border, compared to only 199 markers before 2008.

Not only has the project given a facelift to the border, but also created a firm international legal foundation for the countries’ cooperation in border and territory protection and management, the official noted.

Son, who is also the Chairman of the Vietnam – Laos Joint Committee for Border Marker Planting, added the project will also provide numerous opportunities for cross-border cooperation, particularly in economics, trade, and tourism.

At the ceremony, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his Lao counterpart Thongsing Thammavong underlined the project’s importance to their nations’ relationship.

They described the project as another symbol of the countries’ time-tested amity, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation, built on the basis of respect for each other’s independence and sovereignty, territorial integrity and legitimate interests, and equality and mutual benefits.

The project manifests the consensus, mutual trust and understanding that exists between the Vietnamese and Lao Parties, States and peoples, they added.

On this occasion, the two leaders also appreciated efforts by the two sides’ joint committees, ministries, sectors and localities in completing the project. They asked relevant agencies to work closely to promote the project’s outcomes to maintain peace, stability, friendship, cooperation and sustainable development along the Vietnam – Laos boundary.

In the presence of the PMs, Vietnamese Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and his Lao counterpart Thoonglun Sisulith signed a protocol on the border line and markers, and an agreement on regulations on border and land border gate management between the two Governments.

At the ceremony, the country leaders also presented their Governments’ orders, medals and certificates of merit to collectives and individuals who greatly contributed to the project.-VNA