Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh has urged Vietnamese and Lao relevant agencies, localities and forces to continue their close coordination for the completion of the project on increasing and upgrading border markers along the two countries’ shared boundary in 2014.

FM Minh, who is also Head of the Steering Committee on Land Border Demarcation, was speaking at a meeting in Vietnam’s central province of Nghe An on August 19 to review the land border marker planting and upgrading project.

The minister said while the two countries have completed planting and upgrading the system of markers along their shared border, a lot of work still lies ahead in terms of drafting and signing related legal documents, such as the Protocol on Border Demarcation and Marker Planting and new agreements on border management regulations as well as regulations on border gates and border gate management.

Minister Minh said relevant agencies, local governments and forces involved in the work should continue to cooperate closely in order to fulfill all the remaining tasks by 2014 as agreed by leaders of the two countries.

He also called for the effective implementation of the governmental agreement on dealing with free migration and unregistered marriage in Vietnam-Laos border areas.

Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Thongloun Sisoulith stated that the completion of the system of markers along the Vietnam-Laos border is a shared success which has an important significance in terms of politics, security-national defence and economic development, contributing to building a border line of peace, friendship and mutual development.

At the meeting, Deputy Foreign Minister Ho Xuan Son, who is also Head of the National Boundary Commission and Chairman of the Vietnam-Laos Joint Committee for Border Marker Planting, presented orientations for the project in the time to come.

He emphasised that the completion of planting border markers in the field is evidence of the two countries’ success in addressing issues regarding border and territory on the basis of equal negotiation, respecting each other’s independence, sovereignty and legitimate rights, in line with international law. It creates a good premise for the completion of the entire project in 2014.

On this occasion, the Foreign Ministers of Vietnam and Laos awarded certificates of merit to organisations and individuals who have greatly contributed to border marker planting.

The last border marker on the Vietnam-Laos border line was inaugurated on July 9 at the gate separating the Vietnamese town of Thanh Thuy in Nghe An province and the Lao town of Nam On in Bolikhamsay province.

Vietnam and Laos share a 2,000km border running from north to south. This is the longest land border that Vietnam shares with a neighbouring country.-VNA