Vietnam, Laos envoys vow close ties

Vietnam, Laos envoys vow close ties

The new Vietnamese ambassador to Thailand on Thursday pledged Vietnam will not allow any groups to launch activities against Thailand, while his Lao counterpart said Laos would maintain good relations with Thailand including security cooperation.

Nguyen Hai Bang, the new Vietnamese ambassador to Thailand, and Seng Soukhathivong, the new Lao ambassador to Thailand, spoke to Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon during visits to the ministry in Bangkok to introduce themselves.

AVM Rangsan Yaowarat, assistant spokesman for the Defence Ministry, said the Vietnamese ambassador said his country would strive to strengthen cooperation on anti-human trafficking, illegal immigration, labour and law enforcement.

The Vietnamese government is interested in particular in the suppression of illegal fishing activities, said AVM Rangsan.

The pledge not to allow hostile parties to launch activities against Thailand was made as part of that commitment.

Gen Prawit, meanwhile, stressed the importance of maintaining and improving Thai-Vietnamese cooperation in the fight against trafficking that was agreed in a pact signed in 2008, which also includes cooperation in exchanging prisoners, said AVM Rangsan.

Gen Prawit also pledged Thailand would continue taking good care of Thai-Vietnamese people living in Thailand and serving as a so-called a "cultural bridge" for both nations.

The new Lao ambassador to Thailand, meanwhile, rated Thai-Lao relations as "very good", said defence spokesman Kongcheep Tantravanich.

The Lao ambassador also said Gen Prawit played a key role in promoting Thai-Lao relations, which is now paying off in the form of better Thai-Lao border cooperation on trade and security, said Lt Gen Kongcheep.

Gen Prawit was quoted as saying the countries should try to stop Laos being exploited by transnational drug trafficking networks as a transit and distribution point in trafficking.

He also said Thailand would work harder to improve the quality of life of people living on the Thai-Lao border.

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