On the morning of January 16, General Lich paid a courtesy visit to General Secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) and President of Laos Bounnhang Vorachith.

Defense Minister General Ngo Xuan Lich (L) and President of Laos Bounnhang Vorachith

Welcoming General Lich and other Vietnamese high-ranking military delegates, the Lao top leader believed that the visit would help further tighten the special friendship and solidarity between the two Parties, States, and militaries. He highly valued the outcomes of the previous talks between General Lich and his Lao counterpart, adding that their defense cooperation is a special pillar in the bilateral traditional relations.

Lao Party General Secretary and President Vorachith pledged to continuously instruct the Lao Defense Ministry to seriously and effectively implement the two sides’ agreements, particularly in building up a shared border of peace, stability, and development, as well as joining hands to promote their peoples’ living standards on border areas.

Recalling his official visit to Vietnam last December and the considerable results of the Vietnam-Laos, Laos-Vietnam Friendship and Solidarity Year 2017, the Lao leader sincerely thanked the important assistance of the Vietnamese Party, State, and military to Laos’ national salvation cause in the past and the country’s development today.

Vietnamese Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich (L) and Lao Defense Minister Chanyalath Chansamone Chanyalath signing a defense cooperation agreement in 2018

For his part, General Lich thanked the Lao leader for his warm reception, messages of Vietnam's Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and State President Tran Dai Quang inquiring after Lao Party General Secretary and President Vorachit, and re-affirmed that Vietnam always attaches importance to building the traditional ties with Laos.

The Vietnamese Defense Minister held that Vietnam and Laos earned remarkable successes in defense cooperation last year, especially education and training, officers’ exchanges at all levels, and joint programs on borderline management. He added that the two countries’ States and Politburos would further boost this field in the time to come.

Previously, on January 15, an event to welcome General Lich and Vietnamese high-ranking military delegates took place at the Headquarters of the Lao Defense Ministry, chaired by its Minister, Senior Lieutenant General Chansamone Chanyalath. After that, the two defense ministers held talks.

Lao Defense Minister Chanyalath held that the visit of the Vietnamese high-ranking military delegation would continue to inspire the two sides to the bilateral defense cooperation, making contributions to further consolidating and heightening the traditional relations between both militaries and peoples.

In turn, General Lich emphasized that his visit to Laos was underway at the time when Vietnam and Laos have completed activities in celebration of the Vietnam-Laos, Laos-Vietnam Friendship and Solidarity Year 2017, the 55th anniversary of the Vietnam-Laos diplomatic ties, and the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Vietnam-Laos Treaty of Amity and Cooperation. Thus, the visit is considered a driving force to further deepen the bilateral defense cooperation.

Delegates posing for a photo

At the talks, both sides reviewed their cooperation activities in 2017 and then mapped out joint plans to expand the relations this year.

Accordingly, last year relevant agencies and units of the Vietnamese and Lao People’s Armies worked well together to carry on and successfully fulfill all agreements and set schedules. They effectively beefed up dissemination work to raise their troops’ awareness of the Vietnam-Laos traditional friendship and special solidarity through an array of programs and movements, especially in celebrating those aforementioned special events between the two countries.

Additionally, the two sides effectively cooperated in education and training, promoted relations between their affiliated units, and closely worked with each other to firmly manage and safeguard the shared borderline.

In 2018, General Lich and General Chanyalath agreed to continuously foster the bilateral defense cooperation, such as sharing experiences on Party and political work, focusing on popularizing their special relations among troops, and introducing to each other the top winners of a fine art composing competition on the Vietnam-Laos relationship on the occasion of the Vietnam-Laos, Laos-Vietnam Friendship and Solidarity Year 2017.

They underlined that the two militaries should enhance their information sharing in order to promptly cooperate with each other to fight against any plots of hostile forces, while promoting their cooperation in defense industry and also their border guard activities. This year, Vietnam will host the “Shared border of friendship” exchange program with Laos.

Especially, those results of their defense cooperation this year will considerably pave the way for their relations in 2019, when Vietnam and Laos will celebrate their 75th and 70th founding anniversaries of the People’s Armies, respectively.

After the talks, General Lich and his Lao counterpart signed a defense cooperation agreement in 2018.

On the sidelines of the visit, General Lich and other Vietnamese delegates laid flower wreaths and offered incense to heroic martyrs at the Laos-Vietnam Fighting Alliance monument in Vientiane, and toured some units of the Laos People’s Army.

Translated by Van Hieu