Laos and Canada hope that cooperation between the two countries will be further strengthened, providing each other with mutual support on the regional and international stages in the years to come.

High-level foreign affairs officials from the two countries made the expression at a meeting held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Vientiane during the visit of Canadian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Morris Rosenberg.

This was the first visit of a high-level foreign affairs delegation from Canada to Laos since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1974.

Lao Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Bounkeuth Sangsomsak highly valued the visit of the Canadian delegation, which he said was a significant and important milestone in strengthening cooperation between Laos and Canada.

At the meeting, the two sides reviewed their cooperation over the past decades and discussed their future plans, while confirming their desire to make all efforts in strengthening their relations and future cooperation.

The Lao side raised its priorities for cooperation, such as political dialogue between the two ministries, cooperation regarding regional and international issues, mutual visits of delegations at various levels, the signing of agreements on investment promotion and protection between the two countries, and the continuation of existing cooperation in education, health, and UXO clearance.

The Lao side also proposed that Canada could support two Lao candidates in their bids for seats in the United Nations Population Fund Executive Board, and United Nations Human Rights Council from 2016 to 2018.

In regards to the proposal, the Canadian side agreed in principle and will assign the relevant bodies to hold further discussions on the matter.

The two sides also exchanged their views on Asean, especially the establishment of the Asean Economic Community and the relations between Asean and Canada.

Asean-Canada cooperation has been established as the country is an Asean dialogue partner focusing on political and security issues, economics and trade, social-cultural cooperation and cooperation for development.

Asean and Canada are implementing their joint working plan for 2012-2015 relating to the Asean-Canada joint declaration on trade and investment cooperation.

Asean-Canada cooperation also involves agri-food processing, clean technology, satellite technology, education, energy, and connectivity.

During their visit, the Canadian delegation also announced the plans of Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, who will visit Laos next month.

The delegation also paid a courtesy visit to Minister of Justice Dr Chaleun Yiapaoher, leaders of the Ministry of Health, and a health cooperation project which Canada has supported.

Source: Vientiane Times
June 5, 2013