Vu Khoan, born in 1937, passed away on June 21 after a period of illness.

Former Deputy PM Vu Khoan (third from right) attends a high-level roundtable held in Hanoi on December 17, 2020 to review the ASEAN Year 2020, when Vietnam held the chairmanship.

In a recent interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency, Lengsavad recounted that he came to know Vu Khoan after he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs of Laos in March 1993, when the latter was serving as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam.

He said Vu Khoan greatly contributed to the enhancement of ties between the two foreign ministries, especially in assisting Laos to prepare for its admission to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and training Lao diplomats.

He was one of the Vietnamese leaders considerably helping with the reinforcement of the great friendship, special solidarity, and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries, not only in terms of diplomacy but also in his later positions such as Minister of Trade, Secretary of the Party Central Committee, and Deputy PM, according to Lengsavad.

The Lao official went on to say that when he became Foreign Minister of Laos in 1993, he asked Vu Khoan to share diplomatic experience. In reply, Vu Khoan said that both the Lao official and he had not enrolled in any diplomatic academies, so they needed to study international treaties, international relations, consular affairs, and related international laws in order to well perform their tasks.

Driven by the advice of by Vu Khoan, Lengsavad read and studied much, not only on the topics of politics, economy, and military but also other fields since diplomacy required understanding of all aspects, he said.

He noted that through many occasions of meeting and working together, he realized Vu Khoan was a highly capable official with in-depth knowledge about scientific and social affairs, adding that he was particularly impressed by the Vietnamese official’s capacity of learning foreign languages.

When Vietnam and Laos became observers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 1992, then Deputy Foreign Minister Vu Khoan, who was fluent in Russian language, started to learn English to serve the performance of duties related to ASEAN countries, and he managed to speak English fluently just after a short period of learning, Lengsavad added.

Source: VNA