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People-to-people diplomacy important to Vietnam-Laos relations

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National Assembly Chairman Vương Đình Huệ (right) receives the Lao Minister of Science and Technology, who is also President of the Laos-Vietnam Friendship Association, in Vientiane on Tuesday. — VNA/ Photo 

 VIENTIANE — National Assembly Chairman Vương Đình Huệ commended the Laos-Vietnam Friendship Association for its contributions to the friendship and special solidarity between the two countries during a reception for its President Boviengkham Vongdara in Vientiane on Tuesday.

Huệ described people-to-people diplomacy as an important diplomatic channel between Việt Nam and Laos, in which associations played a significant role.

The top legislator noted that the two sides should further educate their people, especially young generations, about the relations and the need to preserve and promote the rare relationship.

He asked Boviengkham Vongdara, the Lao Minister of Science and Technology, to continue supporting the Vietnamese community in Laos and more than 200 Vietnamese businesses operating in the neighbouring country.

The Vietnamese legislature stands ready to facilitate the development of the Laos-Vietnam Friendship Association and foster the relations between the two countries, he pledged.

For his part, Boviengkham Vongdara briefed the NA Chairman on the operation of his association, saying in the Vietnam-Laos, Laos-Vietnam Solidarity and Friendship Year 2022, it plans to welcome Vietnamese ex-youth volunteers in Laos and organise workshops, seminars and other activities to promote bilateral relations.

He added that the association would also work to enhance economic, trade, and investment ties between the two countries.

Within the framework of the NA Chairman’s official visit to Laos, Minister-Chairman of the Government’s Committee for Ethnic Minorities Affairs Hau A Lenh paid a courtesy visit to President of the Lao Front for National Construction Sinlavong Khoutphaythoune.

Lenh emphasised the Vietnamese Party’s and State’s viewpoints of placing importance on ethnic matters and policies in the principles of equality and solidarity towards building the great national unity bloc.

He noted with pleasure developments of the friendship and cooperation between the Vietnamese committee and the Lao front and his wish that the relationship would further grow, benefiting the two countries and peoples.

Sinlavong Khoutphaythoune also affirmed Laos’ efforts in building the great unity bloc, with policies issued to ensure equality between ethnic groups.

He spoke highly of the visit to Laos by NA Chairman Huệ and the high-ranking Vietnamese delegation, especially in the Vietnam-Laos Solidarity and Friendship Year. —

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/politics-laws/1192478/people-to-people-diplomacy-important-to-vietnam-laos-relations.html

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Vietnam proposes measures to foster Mekong-Lancang cooperation in post-pandemic recovery

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Vietnam’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son has recommended four measures for beefing up the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC) to promote growth and sustainable development from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister Son was speaking at the seventh MLC Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held in Bagan, Myanmar on Monday, centered around ‘Solidarity for Peace and Prosperity.’ 

The event was attended by foreign ministers from the six member countries of the MLC mechanism, including China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. 

Participants highly appreciated the MLC’s recent contributions to regional cooperation and development, especially amid the complicated developments of COVID-19, and discussed coordination in organizing the second MLC Ministerial Meeting on Water Resources in Vietnam this year.

In this context, the Vietnamese diplomat delivered a speech proposing four major measures to make the MLC more effective.

He firstly mentioned the need for cooperation in boosting economic recovery and resilience from the pandemic, and strengthening customs cooperation and trade facilitation in order to solve goods congestion and ensure the free flow of goods and services in the region.

Second, it is necessary for mutual support among member countries in climate change adaptation and the transition to a green economic model, including clean energy development and climate-smart agriculture.

He also called for stronger cooperation in managing and using water resources in a sustainable manner, strengthening consultation and dialogue on water resource development plans, increasing the sharing of hydrological and meteorological data and hydroelectric dam operations, and expanding coordination between the MLC and the Mekong River Commission.

Vietnam’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son (L) bumps elbows with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi at the seventh Mekong-Lancang Cooperation Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Myanmar, July 4, 2022. Photo: Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Vietnam’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son (L) bumps elbows with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi at the seventh Mekong-Lancang Cooperation Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Myanmar, July 4, 2022. Photo: Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Lastly, it is advisable to promote people-to-people connections through tourism activities and cultural exchange programs, Son said.

His speech was highly appreciated by the other member countries and was reflected in the conference’s documents, the foreign ministry said in a statement on Monday.

The event came as two-way trade between the lower Mekong River countries and China reached nearly US$400 billion last year, up 23 percent from 2020, while many large infrastructure works have been completed and hundreds of technical assistance projects are being built by the MLC member nations, according to the Vietnam News Agency.

The meeting emphasized the principles of equal cooperation, mutual consultation, benefit-sharing and respect for the United Nations Charter and international law, as well as the legislation of each country. 

It came to an end with the issuance of four joint statements on strengthening agricultural cooperation, disaster prevention, customs and trade facilitation, and exchanges between MLC civilizations. 

Founded in 2016, the MLC is a multilateral cooperation mechanism between the riparian states of the Lancang River and Mekong River. 

The Lancang River originates from Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in southwestern China.

It is called the Mekong River as it flows through the other five countries – Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam – before entering the sea.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/politics/20220705/vietnam-proposes-measures-to-foster-mekonglancang-cooperation-in-postpandemic-recovery/67956.html

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Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov to visit Vietnam

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Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov is scheduled to visit Vietnam on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday night.

The visit is made at the invitation of Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son.

In September 2021, Minister Son conducted a business trip to Moscow, where he met with many Russian officials, including his counterpart Lavrov.

In late 2021, State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc visited Russia at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin.

Last year marked the 20th anniversary of the strategic partnership between Vietnam and Russia, while this year is the 10th anniversary of the two nations’ comprehensive strategic partnership.

Lavrov’s visit takes place in the context of new developments in the international and regional situations.

In March, Minister Son joined separate phone talks with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba about the military conflict between the two countries.

In both dialogues, Son affirmed Vietnam’s consistent stance that international disputes and disagreements should be resolved by peaceful measures and in compliance with the basic principles of the United Nations Charter and international law, especially the principle of respecting the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of countries.

The official asked relevant parties to exercise restraint, reduce tensions, and conduct more dialogues to find a long-term solution that is in line with international law and takes into consideration the legitimate interests of all sides.

During the talks, Minister Lavrov praised Vietnam’s contribution to peace, stability, cooperation, and development in the region and the world.

The official shared recent developments in the situation in Ukraine and affirmed that he would try his best to support the safe evacuation of Vietnamese citizens from conflict zones.

The two sides also discussed bilateral relations, with Minister Son suggesting that Russia continue to pay attention to and create favorable conditions for the Vietnamese community there to stabilize their life, production, and business operation.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/politics/20220705/russian-foreign-minister-sergey-lavrov-to-visit-vietnam/67944.html

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Vietnam leaders congratulate US on 246th Independence Day

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Vietnamese leaders have sent congratulatory messages to leaders of the U.S. government and Congress on the occasion of the country’s 246th Independence Day.

State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh sent their congratulations to U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue also extended greetings to President of the Senate Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.

On the same day, Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son sent a congratulatory message to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Vietnam and the U.S. established bilateral relations in 1995, paving the way for a partnership of trust, friendship, and mutual respect.

The bilateral relationship is guided by the comprehensive partnership signed in 2013 and joint statements issued by the leaders of the two countries in 2015, 2016, and May and November 2017, according to the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi.

After lifting the ban on the sale of lethal weapons to Vietnam in May 2016, the U.S. continued to support the Southeast Asian country in maritime security, including handing over Hamilton-class coast guard ships to Vietnam in 2017 and 2020.

The people-to-people relations between the two countries have also developed rapidly, with tens of thousands of Vietnamese students having come to the U.S. to study, contributing nearly US$1 billion to the local economy.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/politics/20220704/vietnam-leaders-congratulate-us-on-246th-independence-day/67935.html

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