MINSK, 19 August (BelTA) - Laos and Belarus enjoy long-standing friendship and good cooperation, President of the National Assembly of the Lao People's Democratic Republic Saysomphone Phomvihane said during a web-based conference with Chairman of the House of Representatives Vladimir Andreichenko on 19 August, BelTA has learned.
"This is a good opportunity for us to discuss and exchange comments in order to strengthen friendship and cooperation between the two countries, between our legislative bodies. I would like to sincerely thank you for yours greetings on the successful conduct of the first meeting of the 9th Lao National Assembly and my election to the presidency. In this regard, I would like to convey warm greetings from Laos President Thongloun Sisoulith through you to Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko," Saysomphone Phomvihane said.
The speaker noted that Laos highly appreciates Belarus' commitment to developing fruitful cooperation between the two countries and between the legislative bodies. "I would like to congratulate the Republic of Belarus and the House of Representatives on their achievements and to express hope that you will continue to achieve great success in socio-economic development for the benefit of the Belarusian people and for peace, friendship and cooperation in the region and the world," he said. “The regional and international situation continues to change rapidly due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the situation in Ukraine, the high cost of oil and goods, climate change and other problems that directly and indirectly affect Laos. But under the leadership of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party, we now have political stability, peace and order in society. Lao people and all ethnic groups are united; the economy is expected to grow at 4.3% in 2022."
"We are very proud that Laos and Belarus have long-standing bonds of friendship and good cooperation. Laos and Belarus established diplomatic relations on 7 February 1994 and have been continuously working to strengthen and expand relations and cooperation. The two sides exchanged high-level delegations. The then Laos President Choummaly Sayasone visited Belarus in July 2013 and called the visit historic," Saysomphone Phomvihane added. The parties have also exchanged visits at the level of ministers of foreign affairs and some other ministries as well. The two countries cooperate within the United Nations at the regional and international levels. The two parties have set up a commission on cooperation, which is a mechanism to jointly support trade and economic interaction. Belarus has supported the development of a research laboratory of minerals, intends to establish a plant of potash fertilizers, baby food factory, pharmaceutical products, a center for the treatment of heart and bone diseases, and to discuss cooperation in education, culture, banking, finance and credit and other matters. Due to the recent situation with the spread of COVID-19 virus, despite the efforts of the two parties, Lao-Belarusian cooperation has not made much progress,” he said.
He expressed his deep appreciation to the government and the people of Belarus for their support and assistance to the Lao people in the past, as well as during the development and construction of the country at the present time. “I appreciate that the Lao National Assembly and the House of Representatives of Belarus have consistently good relations with each other. The president of the 8th National Assembly visited Belarus in April 2014 and signed a memorandum of cooperation between the Lao National Assembly and the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus. The two parties have cooperated and supported each other in inter-parliamentary regional arenas, exchanging congratulations on important national dates, elections, and others. The Lao National Assembly of the 9th convocation set up the Lao-Belarusian Parliamentary Friendship Committee, which includes ten members from the constituencies,” the speaker said.
Saysomphone Phomvihane suggested specific areas of cooperation between the two legislative bodies. “I suggest that both parties review the Memorandum of Cooperation signed in 2013 between the National Assembly of Laos and the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus, taking into account the current situation. I also see it as possible to continue to exchange information on the implementation of the role of the legislature in various ways. Encourage governments to implement contracts, conventions and agreements signed by the two governments so that they are highly effective and truly benefit the people of the two countries. I also suggest that we continue to cooperate and support each other in regional and international parliaments to contribute to the mission of maintaining peace, stability and cooperation for sustainable development. I would like to invite Speaker of the House of Representatives Vladimir Andreichenko to pay an official visit to the Lao People's Democratic Republic any time convenient for you,” he said.