General Ngo Xuan Lich, Politburo member, Vice Secretary of the Central Military Commission and Minister of National Defence, affirmed that Vietnam always treasures the great friendship, special solidarity, and comprehensive cooperation with Laos, and that the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence will keep sharing experience with and assisting Laos in COVID-19 response and helping the Lao People’s Army improve its capacity.
For his part, General Chansamone Chanyalath, Politburo member and Minister of National Defence of Laos, offered sympathies over the losses suffered by the Vietnamese army and people during the recent floods in the central region.
He congratulated Vietnam on its fulfillment of the 2020 ASEAN Chairmanship, including the successful organisation of ASEAN military - defence meetings, amid complex developments of the global and regional security situation and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He affirmed that his ministry will continue supporting Vietnam to successfully hold the 14th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) and the 7th ADMM Plus next week.
Laos attaches utmost importance to the great friendship, special solidarity, and comprehensive cooperation with Vietnam, the minister emphasised, appreciating the Vietnamese Defence Ministry and military units’ support and assistance for the Lao army in many aspects, including the exchange of experience and provision of medical supplies in the COVID-19 fight.
Expressing their delight at defence cooperation outcomes obtained this year, the officials pointed out that despite complex developments of the global, regional, and COVID-19 situation, cooperation between the two armies have still developed unceasingly, helping to ensure defence - security stability and socio-economic development in each nation and deserving its status as an important pillar in the countries’ relations.
Both sides have also fruitfully carried out the 2020 cooperation plan, they said, highlighting the timely mutual assistance in sharing anti-pandemic experience and provision of medical supplies.
This reflected the two defence ministries’ proactiveness, timeliness, and flexibility in the face of the new context, as well as their resolve to not let COVID-19 affect bilateral defence ties, according to the ministers.
For 2021, they agreed to coordinate in directing their defence ministries’ agencies to effectively implement cooperation deals between the two Parties, States, and defence ministries.
The ministries will further consolidate and promote the effectiveness of cooperation mechanisms, especially the defence policy dialogue at the deputy minister level.
Besides, they will increase all-level mutual visits, boost coordination between their border management and guarding forces in combating trans-national crimes like smuggling and drug trafficking, and step up border patrols as well as the management of the shared borderline, border gates, and border crossings to thoroughly prevent illegal exit and entry so as to help prevent COVID-19 transmission.
They will also continue to share army building experience and guarantee political stability and social order and safety in each country, thereby contributing to the success of their countries’ national Party congresses.
Concluding the session, the two defence ministers signed the cooperation plan for 2021 between their ministries.