Cambodia and Laos yesterday renewed their commitment to cooperate on border security issues, including drug trafficking.
Interior Minister Sar Kheng and Lao Public Security Minister Vilay Lakhamfong yesterday co-chaired a meeting in Vientien with officials to review and evaluate the results of a bilateral cooperation initiative last year and signed the renewed agreement for continued cooperation this year, Mr Kheng posted on his Facebook page.
“Both sides briefed each other about the progress in the implementation of the memorandum of understanding which the two ministries signed in 2019 and their future cooperation,” Interior Ministry spokesman Phat Sophanith said. “They also discussed efforts on drug control and inspection, anti-human trafficking, immigration facilitation and exchange visits.”
Mr Sophanith noted the meeting also focused on implementing the annual bilateral cooperation mechanism aimed at further enhancing relations and development cooperation between the bordering provinces of the two countries.
He said both sides expressed satisfaction with the implementation of the memorandum of understanding on drug inspection and control cooperation by relevant sectors of the two countries.
Mr Sophanith said under the agreement, the two neighbours will further strengthen cooperation in the fight against trans-border crimes, including human trafficking and drug smuggling.
Both sides also agreed to exchange visits of senior officials from the two ministries, he added.
Mr Kheng yesterday also met with Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith. When asked about the meeting, Mr Sophanith declined to comment.
During his stay, Mr Kheng also visited the Kaysone Phomvihane Museum, which opened in 1995, to serve as a tribute to Indochina’s most pragmatic communist leader Kaysone Phomvihane who died in 1992 after his first year of presidency.
“I was impressed by the braveness of Mr Phomvihane who made a sacrifice for the nation and the people as well as for taking part in standing against foreign invasion along with neighbouring countries, including Cambodia,” Mr Kheng said on his post.
In February, Prime Minister Hun Sen urged Lao President Bounnhang Vorachith to help speed up the drafting of a treaty to officially recognise 86 percent of the Cambodia-Laos border, which have been identified so far.
In September last year, Mr Hun Sen and Mr Sisoulith discussed ongoing border disputes, which had recently led to the mobilisation of troops to disputed areas.
Both nations at that time signed an agreement to have the Joint Boundary Commission draft ready as soon as possible, a treaty to ratify the 86 percent of the border that has been demarcated to date.
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