VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/Asia News Network): The Lao and Cambodian governments have agreed to continue cooperation in the field of security, and in particular to strengthen joint security operations around the borders of their neighbouring provinces.
In response to an invitation from Laos’ Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Security, General Vilay Lakhamfong, a high-ranking delegation from the Ministry of the Interior of the Kingdom of Cambodia, led by the country’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Samdech Krolahom Sar Kheng, made an official visit to Laos from March 18-20 to discuss border security.
General Vilay Lakhamfong and Samdech Krolahom Sar Kheng chaired the 2023 bilateral security cooperation meeting, which was attended by high-ranking delegations from Laos’ Ministry of Public Security, Cambodia’s Ministry of Interior, and leaders from Lao and Cambodian provinces that share borders, including Champassak and Attapeu.
The two delegations reviewed the progress made under a Memorandum on Bilateral Cooperation signed by their two security ministers in 2021, and adopted a further cooperation plan for 2023.
Although planned meetings between the two sides had not been able to take place last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the two delegations praised the positive spirit and strong cooperation between relevant officials at all levels, especially those in bordering provinces of Laos and Cambodia.
This cooperation had led to the maintenance of peace and order and problems had been solved amicably, helping to strengthen neighbourly relations.
However, the meeting noted that more comprehensive cooperation was necessary and that the two sides needed to do more to formalise their relationship through reciprocal visits by members of their police forces, meetings between local communities, personnel training, and encouraging people living in shared border areas to comply with the laws and immigration regulations of Laos and Cambodia.
The two delegations unanimously adopted various plans to be followed by both ministries this year to strengthen security operations, especially in border areas.
Other areas of cooperation include drug trafficking monitoring and control, efforts to combat human trafficking, the maintenance of peace and order in border areas and at border crossings, and suppressing telecommunication and computer crimes.
The two sides also agreed to arrange more reciprocal visits by their delegations, strengthen their security forces, and in general ensure that their work is consistent with the two countries’ foreign policies. The overriding aim is for cooperation between the two ministries to ensure that Laos and Cambodia enjoy peace and security and create conditions conducive to the development of both countries.
The two deputy prime ministers signed a Memorandum of Cooperation between Laos’ Ministry of Public Security and Cambodia’s Ministry of Interior for the year 2023, as a basis for the relevant parties to work together to achieve the desired results.
On the last day of visit to Vientiane on Monday, Samdech Krolahom Sar Kheng paid a courtesy call on Lao Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone.