Laos FM’s first-ever of­fi­cial visit opens new page in ties

Azer News - - Front Page - By Amina Nazarli

Laos voiced a will to strengthen the re­la­tions and co­op­er­a­tion with Azer­bai­jan, as For­eign Min­is­ter of Laos Saleumxay Kom­m­a­sith paid his coun­try’s first-ever of­fi­cial visit to Azer­bai­jan this week.

Kom­m­a­sith held a num­ber of meet­ings with the of­fi­cials of the coun­try dur­ing his two-day stay in Baku, and inked a deal with his Azer­bai­jani coun­ter­part.

President Il­ham Aliyev re­ceived Kom­m­a­sith on June 19, where they ex­changed views on co­op­er­a­tion be­tween Azer­bai­jan Laos in a num­ber of fields, in­clud­ing ed­u­ca­tion and tourism.

The head of state de­scribed Kom­m­a­sith's visit to Azer­bai­jan as a good in­dica­tive of mu­tual in­ter­est in strength­en­ing bi­lat­eral ties be­tween the two coun­tries.

Kom­m­a­sith, in turn, hailed the long his­tory of Azer­bai­jan-Laos re­la­tions, say­ing this re­la­tion­ship started at the time of the Soviet Union. He praised Azer­bai­jan's sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions to the so­cioe­co­nomic de­vel­op­ment, as well as to staff train­ing in Lao Peo­ple's Demo­cratic Repub­lic.

The FM de­scribed Azer­bai­jan as the lead­ing coun­try in the re­gion and praised its great strides. He em­pha­sized the im­por­tance of re­cip­ro­cal vis­its be­tween the two coun­tries.

Later, Kom­m­a­sith met with Prime Min­is­ter Ar­tur Ra­sizade and dis­cussed prospects for co­op­er­a­tion.

Ra­sizade em­pha­sized the ne­ces­sity of build­ing a le­gal frame­work for re­vi­tal­iz­ing co­op­er­a­tion. The PM hailed Laos` pro­pos­als on joint pro­jects in a num­ber of ar­eas, in­clud­ing the non-oil sec­tor, agri­cul­ture, trans­port, tourism and ed­u­ca­tion.

In turn, Kom­m­a­sith ex­pressed his con­fi­dence that mu­tual vis­its and ex­change of ex­pe­ri­ence be­tween the public and private sec­tors will con­trib­ute to the de­vel­op­ment of co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries.

In Baku, the Laos del­e­ga­tion was also re­ceived by Par­lia­men­tary Speaker Og­tay Asadov, who said the visit of the FM will pos­i­tively in­flu­ence de­vel­op­ment of re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries.

Asadov stressed the im­por­tance of sign­ing the doc­u­ment be­tween the two coun­tries in terms of strength­en­ing ties. “We are in­ter­ested in de­vel­op­ing the in­ter-par­lia­men­tary bonds,” he added.

The FM ex­pressed hope that re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries in the po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic, sci­en­tific, ed­u­ca­tional and cul­tural fields will fur­ther de­velop.

Later on the same day, Kom­m­a­sith and Azer­bai­jan`s For­eign Min­is­ter El­mar Mam­mad­yarov signed an Agree­ment on Ex­emp­tion from visa re­quire­ment for hold­ers of diplo­matic pass­ports.

Prior to the sign­ing cer­e­mony, the for­eign min­is­ters had a tete-atete and ex­tended meet­ings with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of del­e­ga­tions.

The min­is­ters em­pha­sized the im­por­tance of re­newal and fur­ther de­vel­op­ment of co­op­er­a­tion in all spheres. In this con­text, they noted the sig­nif­i­cance of ex­change of high level vis­its in or­der to pro­mote bi­lat­eral re­la­tions and co­op­er­a­tion.

In this re­gard, Mam­mad­yarov pointed out that the visit paid by Kom­m­a­sith is the first ever of­fi­cial visit be­tween Azer­bai­jan and Laos and ex­pressed his con­fi­dence that the visit would con­trib­ute to the de­vel­op­ment of bi­lat­eral re­la­tions in all spheres.

They also noted the sig­nif­i­cant role of par­lia­men­tary diplo­macy in ad­vanc­ing bi­lat­eral re­la­tions and talked about the es­tab­lish­ment of Friend­ship Group in leg­isla­tive bod­ies. Fur­ther­more, both sides had a com­pre­hen­sive dis­cus­sion on per­spec­tive ar­eas of bi­lat­eral re­la­tions and said that there are wide ranges of co­op­er­a­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties in the field of econ­omy. They shared thoughts about the es­tab­lish­ment of di­rect con­tacts be­tween busi­ness com­mu­ni­ties and hold­ing busi­ness Fo­rums for defin­ing those op­por­tu­ni­ties. The FMs also ex­changed views on de­vel­op­ment of bi­lat­eral le­gal-treaty base.

They also stressed the im­por­tance of en­hanc­ing suc­cess­ful co­op­er­a­tion in hu­man re­source de­vel­op­ment, par­tic­u­larly in the field of ed­u­ca­tion and con­tin­u­a­tion of ex­change of stu­dents and re­searchers based on the tra­di­tions since the Soviet times.

The two min­is­ters also ex­changed views on re­gional and in­ter­na­tional is­sues, as well as touched upon the im­por­tance of co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries in frame­work of in­ter­na­tional in­sti­tu­tions, in­clud­ing the UN and NAM.

Mam­mad­yarov also in­formed his coun­ter­part about the Ar­me­ni­aAzer­bai­jan Nagorno-Karabakh con­flict and its con­se­quences. The min­is­ters voiced sup­port to peace­ful set­tle­ment of the con­flict in ac­cor­dance with the norms and prin­ci­ples of in­ter­na­tional law, and rel­e­vant res­o­lu­tions of the United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, based on the sovereignty, ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity and in­vi­o­la­bil­ity of rec­og­nized bor­ders.

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