A national meeting was held in Vientiane yesterday to mark the 50th anniversary of Vietnam-Laos diplomatic ties and the 35th anniversary of the signing the Laos-Vietnam Friendship and Cooperation Treaty.

At the meeting, Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) Secretary General and state President Choummaly Sayasone saluted the ties between the two nations, shown through their mutual reliance in the fight against the same aggressors and celebrated by the model relationship and closeness between the two nations.

“In the long fight for national independence, Laos and Vietnam stood united and sincerely helped each other with deep love, trust, and sacrifice,” he stated. This unique solidarity was the crucial factor for the victorious revolutions in the two countries and continued model international relationship, he added.

Mr Choummaly reminded the gathering of the strategic vision of the leaders of the Lao and Vietnamese revolutions who anticipated the importance of a united force in the fight against imperialism. As part of this cooperation, the government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam assisted the independent Lao government by sending Vietnamese staff and soldiers to a coalition Lao-Vietnamese battalion established in October 1945.

The people of Laos also made significant efforts to contribute to the Vietnamese effort, including the well-known “Ho Chi Minh trail” on the west side of Phou Luang mountains that aided military action to liberate southern Vietnam.

At the meeting, Vietnamese Politburo member and permanent member of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee (CPVCC) Secretariat, Le Hong Anh praised the relationship between the two countries established by Presidents Ho Chi Minh, Kaysone Phomvihane, and Souphanouvong.

The relationship has only grown stronger as a result of ongoing cooperation by other leaders of the two parties, governments, and nations, which has stood the test of time and ensured the success of national construction and defense in both countries. The enduring friendship of both nations also contributes to peace, stability, and development cooperation in Southeast Asia and the rest of the world.

In the spirit of the Laos-Vietnam Friendship and Cooperation Treaty signed on July 18, 1977, Mr Anh expressed the determination of the Party, government and people of Vietnam that they will make all possible efforts to further consolidate and strengthen the traditional friendship relations, special, solidarity and comprehensive cooperation with the LPRP, the Lao government and the people of Laos.

The meeting was held at the National Culture Hall. High-ranking Party and government officials from both Laos and Vietnam attended the event.

Former Party Central Committee member and former Deputy Minister of National Defense Lieutenant General Ay Souliyaseng shared his experience fighting shoulder to shoulder with Vietnamese soldiers against aggressors during the Indochina War.

Aside from attending the meeting, the Vietnamese delegation led by Mr Le Hong Anh, also called on President Choummaly Sayasone, Lao National Assembly President Ms Pany Yathortou, and Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong.

There are several activities organised in the two countries to mark the Laos-Vietnam Friendship Year.

Vientiane is celebrating Vietnamese Cultural Week in Laos, which runs from July 16 to 20 and includes art performances, film demonstrations, and a photo exhibition.

A meeting was also organised in Hanoi, Vietnam to commemorate ties between the two nations where Vice President of Laos Mr Bounnhang Vorachit led the Lao delegation.

Leaders from the two countries have also sent greeting messages to each other to mark the special occasion.

By Times Reporters
(Updated July 19, 2012)