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Vietnamese, Lao top legislators want parliamentary ties to become ‘exemplary model’ in region, world



Vietnamese National Assembly Chairman Vương Đình Huệ and spouse (left) welcome his Lao counterpart Saysomphone Phomvihane and spouse to Hà Nội, Việt Nam, on Monday. — VNA/ Photo Doãn Tấn

HÀ NỘI — Chairman of Việt Nam National Assembly (NA) Vương Đình Huệ and Lao counterpart Saysomphone Phomvihane on Monday in Hà Nội discussed various aspects of bilateral cooperation, as the latter is on a three-day official visit to Việt Nam.

This is the first high-level international delegation to visit Việt Nam’s NA in nearly two years due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On behalf of the leadership of the parliament, NA Chair Huệ warmly welcomed Lao NA Chair Saysomphone’s visit to Việt Nam, expressing appreciation for the fact that the Lao legislator chose Việt Nam as the first country to visit in his new capacity.

The visit is an important milestone, contributing to the consolidation and promotion of great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two Parties, States and peoples in general, and between the National Assembly of the two countries.

NA Chair Huệ reaffirmed the Party and State’s consistent policy to attach great importance to and give the highest priority to preserving and promoting the close, unique and special relationship between Việt Nam and Laos, and that Việt Nam always wholeheartedly, strongly and comprehensively supported Lao’s reforms, nation-building and defence.

For his part, the top Lao legislator thanked Việt Nam for its COVID-19 support, with donations of medical supplies worth US$6.3 million since the beginning of the pandemic.

He acknowledged the socio-economic development aid, totalling VNĐ930 billion ($40.26 million), that Việt Nam provided for Laos in 2020, when Việt Nam itself was facing numerous challenges.

The Lao NA Chair also expressed gratitude for the Lao NA building that Việt Nam financed and constructed as a gift for the Lao Party, State, and people, stressing that Laos will make full use of the building to make it truly stand out as a vivid demonstration of the special friendship and solidarity between the two countries.

During the talks, the two parliament chairs concurred in the assessment that political-diplomatic relations in all channels between Việt Nam and Laos have been increasingly tightened.

In particular, the two sides have coordinated to successfully organise two official friendship visits by General Secretary and President of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith to Việt Nam in June this year, and later, a visit from Vietnamese State President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc to Laos in August, which both have yielded many important and substantive results, creating more impetus for comprehensive cooperation between the two countries.

Cooperation in the fields of security-defence, trade and investment, energy, transport connection, education and training, COVID-19 fight cooperation, and cooperation between localities and people-to-people exchanges have been given proper attention, the two leaders agreed.

The Lao NA Chair noted with appreciation how even with COVID-19, the two-way trade this year hit $948 million so far, up 28 per cent compared to the same period last year, while Việt Nam is currently the third biggest investor in Laos out of 54 countries and territories, with 409 projects and capital totalling $1.9 billion.

The two NA leaders said bilateral parliamentary cooperation is flourishing, with the two NAs effectively carrying out the 2017 agreement with many diverse cooperation activities including high-level delegation visits, thematic discussions and experience sharing conferences, support for each other in capacity building for legislators and NA staff, as well as infrastructure and IT capacity.

The two chairs have discussed in detail the cooperation results of the two National Assemblies and covered orientations of cooperation for the future.

On that basis, the two Presidents agreed to consider amending and supplementing the cooperation agreement between the two countries’ NAs, focusing on a number of important items such as close coordination in supervision and facilitating the effective implementation of high-level agreements between the two countries, especially the key tasks in the Việt Nam-Laos cooperation strategy for the 2021-30 period, Việt Nam-Laos cooperation agreement for the 2021-25 period, and other agreements.

The two want to make Việt Nam-Laos parliamentary ties an exemplary model in the region and in the world.

NA Chairs Huệ and Saysomphone agreed to strengthen exchanges between the two women parliamentarians and young parliamentarians, in tandem with seminars on implementing the role of the legislative body and conferences on the rich tradition of special relations between the two countries to help the younger generations understand the history and inherit this “great asset”.

Further exchanges, especially between people’s councils of provinces and centrally-run cities, including neighbouring localities, should be encouraged, the two top legislators noted.

The two chairs agreed that Việt Nam and Laos should continue to promote the trilateral parliamentary cooperation mechanism of Việt Nam – Laos – Cambodia.

The two also agreed that they would propose to the Cambodian National Assembly and Senate to consider, when necessary, holding meetings involving the three countries’ parliament leaders in order to promote and improve the effectiveness of the Việt Nam – Laos tripartite cooperation mechanism.

NA Chair Huệ also wants the two parliaments to hold events commemorating the 60th anniversary of Việt Nam-Laos bilateral diplomatic relations (September 5, 1962) and 45th anniversary of Việt Nam-Laos Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation (signed in July 1977) in 2022.

On this occasion, the two NA Chairmen witnessed the handover ceremony of medical supplies worth $1 million by the Vietnamese NA to support Laos in COVID-19 prevention and control, including 2.1 million medical-grade masks, 100,000 COVID-19 test kits, along with protective gear, sanitisers, body temperature scanners and $100,000 in cash. —

Top Vietnamese and Lao legislators witnessed the handover ceremony of medical supplies donated from Việt Nam to Laos. — VNA/ Photo Doãn Tấn



FM spokesperson on Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s passing



The passing of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh is a loss to the Buddhist community in general and Vietnamese Buddhism in particular, said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang.

FM spokesperson on Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s passing
Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh passes away in Vietnam at the age of 96.

Hang was responding to a question raised by media workers concerning the recent passing of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh in Vietnam.

“On hearing about Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s passing, we would like to express our deepest condolences to the Buddhist sect, the Vietnamese Buddhist community at home and abroad, and the family of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh,” said Hang.

According to the spokesperson, the Zen Master is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who has lived abroad for many years, making contributions to the introduction and development of Buddhism as well as Vietnamese culture in the world.

Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, a global famous preacher, writer, poet, and social activist, passed away at Tu Hieu pagoda in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue on January 22 at the age of 96.

The dead body of the world renowned monk is being kept in a casket placed inside the pagoda for Buddhists to come and pay respect to him.

Buddhists began to mourn the late Zen Master on January 23.  

According to the obituary, the Zen Master’s funeral will be held in the form of a silent Buddhist meditation retreat following his will, and it will last for seven days.

A cremation ceremony will be held on January 29. His relics will not be buried in stupas as normally seen, but be distributed to Tu Hieu pagoda and Plum Village monasteries around the world.

Source: VOV


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NA Chairman tasks Mobile Police High Command to build more-elite force



National Assembly Chairman Vương Đình Huệ (third, left) visits the Mobile Police High Command on Thursday morning in Hà Nội. — VNA/ Photo Doãn Tấn

HÀ NỘI — National Assembly Chairman Vương Đình Huệ on Thursday told the Mobile Police High Command to focus on building a more elite and modern mobile police force to meet future requirements.

Huệ made the request when he visited the command, checking their combat readiness as well as offering Lunar New Year’s greetings to all officers and soldiers.

The mobile police force also needs to actively study and practise in all aspects to consolidate the firm political will and loyalty to the Party and the State as well as devotedly serving the people, contributing to maintaining security, political stability, and social order for the country’s development, he added.

He also said that 2022 will be a very important year, pivotal to implementing the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress and the Resolution of the seventh Congress of the Central Public Security Party Committee.

He said there will be both advantages and disadvantages in the future as the world and the region’s situation is forecast to have complicated and unpredictable developments, including possible new variants of COVID-19.

In the meantime, criminal activities are becoming more sophisticated and dangerous. The lives and jobs of people and businesses are still facing many difficulties due to the pandemic, he said.

He stressed the requirements and tasks set for the People’s Public Security Force and the Mobile Police Force will be great in the future.

It requires the force to seriously implement Resolution No. 22-NQ/TW, dated March 15, 2018, of the Politburo on continuing to renovate and re-arrange the organisational structure of the Ministry of Public Security to effectively implement the Party’s policies and the State’s laws, he said.

Also during the visit, Huệ warmly praised and congratulated the outstanding achievements that the command had achieved in the past.

Last year, the mobile police force co-operated with the Army to successfully protect major political events of the country, including ensuring the safety of the 13th National Party Congress as well as the elections of deputies to the 15th National Assembly and People’s Councils at all levels for the 2021-26 term amid the pandemic, he said.

The mobile police force also successfully smashed many major criminal gangs last year. It is also an important force and the frontline force to fight against the pandemic, contributing to the successful control of the pandemic in HCM City, southern provinces and Hà Nội last year, he said.

The command has been conferred the title of Hero of the People’s Armed Forces by the Party and State. It has also been awarded the Excellent Emulation Flag by the Government for its contributions, he said.

On the occasion of the Lunar New Year, on behalf of the leaders of the Party, State, National Assembly, Huệ wished the command to continue to successfully fulfil their tasks.—


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Immigration Department issues relaxed entry protocols for foreign nationals, overseas Vietnamese



The Immigration Department of Vietnam has announced new policies on easing entry procedures for foreigners and overseas Vietnamese as well as their family members with valid visas or visa exemptions.

Immigration Department issues relaxed entry protocols for foreign nationals, overseas Vietnamese
Passengers from Japan arrives at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on January 1, 2022. Vietnam has reopened regular international flights on a pilot basis starting this year. — VNA/VNS Photo

The move was made in accordance with directions stated by Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh in Government Office Document No. 450/VPCP-QHQT dated January 18, 2022.

Foreigners and overseas Vietnamese, who hold valid permanent or temporary residence cards, visas and visa exemption certificates, can enter Vietnam in accordance with the Law on foreigners’ entry without having to obtain prior approval from ministries, sectors, and local authorities or undergoing pre-clearance procedures.

Foreigners who wish to enter Vietnam for market research, business, investment, work, conferences, study, family visits but do not have one of the above-mentioned documents must obtain approval from the provincial People’s Committees or ministries, sectors, and central authorities before undergoing sponsoring, inviting procedures for visas at the Immigration Department.

All entrants must adhere to applicable COVID-19 prevention regulations by the Ministry of Health, which means having a negative RT-PCR test results taken within three days prior to entry, submitting an online health declaration at, taking a rapid antigen COVID-19 tests at the airport if one arrives from a country with Omicron, and serving three day quarantine at home/place of accommodation (for fully vaccinated/recently recovered patients) or seven-day quarantine at hotel for the not fully vaccinated.

Those wishing to enter Vietnam for tourism purposes can do so by joining tour groups under the Ministry of Culture, Sports, Tourism’s pilot inbound tourism programme for fully vaccinated arrivals.

Under this vaccine passport-based scheme aimed at reviving international tourism after two years of pandemic, foreign tourists could go to five destinations in Vietnam – Phu Quoc (Kien Giang Province), Nha Trang (Khanh Hoa), Da Nang, Hoi An (Quang Nam), and Quang Ninh, with Binh Dinh and HCM City soon to reopen as well.

The Immigration Department asked the Consular Department (under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) to notify Vietnamese missions abroad to issue guidance for Vietnamese people residing overseas and relatives.

The Civil Aviation Authority also requested to notify airlines, domestic and overseas, on the protocols for boarding, while municipal and provincial authorities should issue guidance for overseas businesses and foreign nationals in their jurisdiction.

Source: Vietnam News 


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