Nov 9, 2012

Laos - Lao, Bangladeshi premiers agree on cooperation

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Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina agreed yesterday to work together to deepen bilateral relations and cooperation as well as to waive the visa requirement for diplomats and government officials.

Sheikh Hasina and her delegation came to Vientiane in response to an invitation from Mr Thongsing, a press release from the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

During talks held shortly after the welcoming ceremony at the Government Office, the two prime ministers agreed to cooperate in trade, human resources development, education, public health, agriculture and information exchange, through both bilateral and multilateral frameworks.

The two prime ministers also touched upon bilateral ties. “Both sides expressed heartfelt satisfaction with their bilateral friendly relations,” the press release said.

“They are pleased to further strengthen and enhance relations and cooperation between the two countries to gain fruitful results based on mutual benefits.”

The two prime ministers agreed to continue exchanges of delegations at various levels.

Sheikh Hasina’s official visit to Laos coincided with her attendance at the two-day 9th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit, which ended in Vientiane on Tuesday.

Mr Thongsing said he highly valued Sheikh Hasina’s attendance at the Summit as well as her official visit to Laos. For her part, the Bangladeshi prime minister thanked the Lao premier, government and people for the warm hospitality extended to her delegation during their stay in Laos.

She also invited Mr Thongsing to pay an official visit to Bangladesh.

After the talks, the two prime ministers witnessed the signing of an agreement that exempts diplomats and officials from needing a visa to enter each other’s country.

Sheikh Hasina also paid a courtesy visit to President Choummaly Sayasone at the President’s Office.
Altogether, 16 ASEM partner country presidents and prime ministers paid courtesy visits to the Lao president during the Summit.

Sheikh Hasina was one of 21 heads of government who attended the Summit, together with 11 heads of state, one deputy prime minister, 12 ministers, four deputy ministers and three ambassadors.

Bangladesh, Norway and Switzerland were officially accepted as full members of the ASEM at the opening of the Summit. This brings the total membership from 26 in 1996 when the grouping was first established, to 51 at present.

Source: Vientiane Times

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