Vietnam, Laos to build on special ties

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Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong on Monday arrived in Laos on his first foreign visit after he took office in January.

Trong, who is also the the National Assembly chairman, and his counterpart, Chummaly Sayasone, who is also the President of Laos, agreed to boost comprehensive cooperation between the two countries during their meeting held in Vientiane.

The cooperation would be based on the spirit of independence, self-reliance, equality and mutual benefit, building on the special ties that the two countries share, they said.

The two leaders praised the results of the 33rd Session of the Viet Nam-Laos Intergovernmental Committee, which reaffirmed bilateral economic, cultural, educational, scientific and technical cooperation during the 2011-2020 period.

Vietnam and Laos will strive to increase two-way trade to US$2 billion by 2015, they said.

The two sides also agreed on measures to be taken to boost cooperation in the areas of national defense and security, the prevention of cross-border crimes, the continued search and repatriation of the remains of Vietnamese volunteers and experts in Laos.

During the meeting, the two sides confirmed their commitment to developing a stronger ASEAN community, agreeing on maintaining, protecting and using the Mekong River efficiently and sustainably while tackling climate change challenges.

Both sides stressed the importance of settling current East Sea issues peacefully and in accordance with international law, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982 and for all parties to abide by the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).

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