State leader hails contributions by former volunteers in Laos hinh anh 1President Tran Dai Quang (R) presents gifts to the former volunteers (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)President Tran Dai Quang appreciated the valuable contributions made by former Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and military experts to the traditional amity and special solidarity with Laos.

Meeting the liaison board for the former volunteer soldiers and military experts in Laos, in Hanoi on April 28, he stressed that the two neighbours’ relations have been nurtured by the sacrifice of many generations, including the former volunteers.

The Vietnamese and Lao leaders are resolved to intensify bilateral ties and have agreed to strengthen educating the young about the significance of that relationship, he noted.

The President also praised the former soldiers and experts’ current efforts to build the grassroots political system, in crime prevention, and imparting sound traditions to young people.

At the meeting, the liaison board reported that Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and military experts were present in Laos from 1949 and finished their tasks in 1987. More than 500,000 soldiers went to Laos to assist the local army and people during the wars against the foreign colonialists and imperialists to gain their independence. About 40,000 of them laid down their lives in the country.

The Lao Party and State have bestowed nearly 10,000 orders and medals of different types upon the former soldiers and specialists. Many volunteer military units have also been presented with the title “Hero of the People’s Armed Forces” by the Vietnamese Party and State.

At present, the liaison board has affiliates in 32 provinces and cities across Vietnam involving about 75,000 former volunteers.

It said, over the past years, the board has applied itself to educating young people in Vietnam and Laos about the countries’ friendship, searching for the remains of the volunteers sacrificed in Laos, and supporting the veterans and their children.-VNA