Hanoi (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Lao Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith co-chaired the fourth Vietnam-Laos ministerial-level consultation in Hanoi on December 6.

Both sides expressed their delight at the extensive and effective development of bilateral ties, saying that high-level agreements and the plan on cooperation between the two governments for 2017 have been basically completed, laying foundation for the implementation of the Vietnam-Laos Bilateral Cooperation Agreement for 2016-2020.

The two countries also completed a project on increasing and upgrading markers along their borderline, stepped up strategic economic connectivity, especially key transport projects, and improved the efficiency of education-training partnership.

The two foreign ministries will push the implementation of high-level agreements while making preparation for a Vietnam visit by Lao Party General Secretary and President Bounnhang Vorachith, a meeting between the two Politburos and the 40th meeting of the Vietnam-Laos Inter-Governmental Committee in early 2018.

Looking back at activities to celebrate the 55th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties and the 40th anniversary of the signing of Vietnam-Laos Treaty of Amity and Cooperation this year, the two sides agreed that 2017 has become a common festival of the two countries.

On the occasion, the two ministers exchanged the Protocol on Vietnam-Laos borderline and border markers and the Agreement on Vietnam-Laos border and border checkpoint management regulations, which took effect on September 5, 2017 on the occasion of the 55th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.

FM Minh asked the Lao government to continue providing support for Vietnamese nationals living in the country, especially in procedures on naturalisation, issuance of long-term residence cards and business registration.

FM Kommasith, for his part, lauded achievements made by the Vietnamese Party, State and people this year, especially the successful organisation of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week and APEC Year 2017.

He agreed with solutions proposed by Vietnam to deepen bilateral ties in the future and promised to create favourable conditions for Vietnamese nationals, workers and firms in Laos.

Laos will do its best to promote the traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation with Vietnam, he said.

On regional and global issues of shared concern, the two sides agreed to work closely together at regional and global forums, offer mutual consultation via bilateral and multilateral channels and at all levels, contributing to further tightening bilateral ties in external relations.

The two ministries also held the fourth exchange between their units.

The Lao Foreign Minister presented Laos’s Labour Order, first class, to former Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos Nguyen Manh Hung.-VNA