LAO PDR (Vientiane Times) - Laos and Timor-Leste have agreed to continue to enhance their cooperation ties while seeking new potential for furthering economic cooperation. The agreement was the outcome of a meeting between delegations from the two countries’ ministries which took place in Vientiane on Thursday. Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Mr Dionisio da Costa Babo Soares led a delegation on a visit to Laos from June 5-8 at the invitation of his Lao counterpart, Mr Saleumxay Kommasith.
Mr Soares visited Laos after his recent appointment as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. At the meeting, the two sides highlighted the bilateral relations and cooperation that has existed between the two countries since they established diplomatic relations on July 29, 2002. Mr Saleumxay said he highly valued the visit by the Timor-Leste delegation led by the new minister, which he said significantly contributed to the strengthening of the friendship and cooperation between the two nations.
A press release from the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs highlighted the reciprocal visits by the countries’ leaders and their continuing mutual support on the regional and international stages. The two sides also shared the view that bilateral cooperation in trade and investment had remained limited. They agreed to continue to enhance economic cooperation with a focus on industry, agriculture and animal husbandry, freight forwarding, labour, tourism, vocational training, and exchanges between business and their chambers of commerce and industry. The two parties will explore the potential of each country for furthering cooperation, in particular the sharing of experiences in fishery, oil and gas extraction, coffee and rice growing, tourism and aviation. The ministers said they intended to arrange more visits and deepen mutual understanding between the peoples of the two countries, and to implement the agreement they had signed.
Mr Saleumxay, representing the Lao government and people, thanked the government and people of Timor-Leste for providing US$750,000 to Laos, Timor-Leste strengthen relations, cooperation help with the recovery effort following the flood caused by the collapse of a dam at the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy hydropower plant in Attapeu province.
The Lao minister welcomed a plan by Timor-Leste to organise a ceremony to mark the 20th Popular Consultation Day of the people of Timor-Leste in August. He said he was gratified by the success achieved by Timor-Leste over the past 20 years, saying this was fundamental to the country gaining Asean membership. Laos has supported TimorLeste in the process of the country’s Asean accession. On the same day, Mr Soares and his delegation paid a courtesy visit to Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith. Mr Thongloun said he highly valued the diplomatic relations between the two countries, which he said had been strengthened and extended, and congratulated Timor-Leste on the upcoming 20th Popular Consultation Day. He also highly valued the effort and persistent success of Timor-Leste in socioeconomic development through remarkable human resource development and poverty reduction.
Prime Minister Thongloun sent greetings to his Timor-Leste counterpart Taur Matan Ruak, and thanked him for the invitation to attend the ceremony to mark the 20th celebration of Popular Consultation Day. The two parties also discussed Timor-Leste’s application for Asean members hip, and M r Soares thanked Laos for the consultation on Asean membership. The Timor-Leste delegation also paid a courtesy visit to the President of the National Assembly, Mrs Pany Yathotou.