President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins, his wife and delegation arrived in Vientiane on Monday for an official visit to Laos from November 14-16 at the invitation of President Bounnhang Vorachit.
An official bilateral meeting between high level Lao and Irish delegations led by the two heads of states Bounnhang Vorachit and Michael Higgins took place yesterday at the President’s Office to discuss future bilateral cooperation.
The delegations discussed assistance and cooperation on UXO clearance in Laos, environmental protection and climate change, the promotion of economic, trade and investment cooperation in Laos, and shared their views on regional and international issues of mutual interest.
President Higgins praised the success of Laos in hosting the 28th and 29th ASEAN Summits and related meetings.
He invited Mr Bounnhang to visit Ireland, with Mr Bounnhang accepting the invitation.
Ireland has assisted Laos in promoting capacity building for Lao personnel as well as in education, especially English language training. Irish assistance to Laos has involved particularly the Lao National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality (LANITH), promoting personnel development in the tourism sector.
Irish scholarships have also been granted to Lao students to study at the Institute of Technology in Dublin.
On the same day, President Higgins and his delegation met with Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and President of the National Assembly Ms Pany Yathotou, with the meetings taking place in an atmosphere of friendship and mutual understanding.
President Higgins and his delegation also visited places of interest in Vientiane such as the Vat Sisaket Museum, the Ministry of Health’s Institute of Nutrition, and LANITH .
“This visit by President of Ireland Michael Higgins and his delegation shows Ireland’s intention to enhance cooperation between Laos and Ireland to new heights in the history of the relationship between the two countries,” a press release from the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated.
“The event is a milestone in strengthening the good relationship and cooperation between the two countries after they established diplomatic relations in August 1998,” the press release added.
Source: Vientiane Times