President Bounnhang Vorachit, his wife, and a high-level delegation made a one-day state visit to Myanmar on Friday at the invitation of Myanmar President U Htin Kyaw.
The visit aimed to enhance the tradition of friendship and cooperative relations between the two countries based on the principle of mutual benefits.
This is Mr Bounnhang’s first visit to Myanmar in his capacity as Lao President and his third trip to a foreign country after being elected Secretary General of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and President of Laos earlier this year. He previously visited Vietnam and China.
Following his arrival in Myanmar, the two presidents met for talks during which both said they highly appreciated and valued the outcomes of the bilateral ties and cooperation between the two countries over past years.
According to a report in the Global New Light of Myanmar, the two sides discussed the promotion of peace and stability in border regions, and the repair of damage to border posts caused by severe weather conditions.
Additionally they discussed resumption of Vientiane-Yangon and Luang Prabang-Bagan direct flights, reviews of existing agreements between the two countries and matters relating to support for each other in the regional and international arenas.
Next, the two presidents witnessed the signing of an agreement on the management of the first Laos-Myanmar Friendship Bridge linking the two countries across the Mekong River.
The agreement was signed by Lao Foreign Affairs Minister Saleumxay Kommasith and Myanmar Foreign Affairs Minister Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
The US$26 million bridge, which links Myanmar’s Tachileik in eastern Shan State to Laos’ Luang Namtha province, was inaugurated last year by the then-presidents of both countries. The bridge was opened in May 2015.
During their talks, the two sides also agreed to pursue the agreements reached by the Laos-Myanmar, Myanmar-Laos Joint Commission for Cooperation at its 11th meeting held in Nay Pyi Taw in March last year and the agreements reached during a state visit to Laos made by Myanmar President U Htin Kyaw in May this year.
The two sides also discussed the promotion of trade, investment, education and tourism cooperation and the cooperation ties between the two countries in both bilateral and multilateral frameworks of mutual interest.
According to the Global New Light of Myanmar report, the Lao president was the third foreign leader to visit Myanmar since the new Myanmar government has been in place.
Mr Bounnhang visited Myanmar in 2003 and 2004 when he was Prime Minister and made a third visit in 2015 as the Vice President of Laos.
On Friday he made his fourth visit to Myanmar. On Friday evening, Mr Bounnhang and his wife ended their visit to Myanmar and left from Nay Pyi Taw for Vientiane. Laos and Myanmar established diplomatic relations on July 12, 1955. The two neighbouring countries are members of Asean, with both gaining membership on July 23, 1997.
Source: Vientiane Times