Lao PDR President arrives tomorrow, visit after 33 years

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New Delhi, Aug 25 (UNI) President of Lao PDR Choummaly Sayasone and General Secretary of the Lao Peoples' Revolutionary Party, will arrive here tomorrow on a five-day state visit to India.

This is the first visit to India by a President from that country after 33 years. The last visit by the President of Lao Peoples' Republic was in 1975.

The Lao President who will be accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Dr Thonglun Sisoulith, Minister for Planning and Investment Soulivong Daravong and Minister in the Presidency Soubanh Srithirath, will have delegation-level talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on a wide range of subjects of bilateral interest, and issues of regional and international importance.

He will also call on President Pratibha Devisingh Patil, who will host a banquet in honour of the visiting dignitary.

Vice-President Hamid Ansari, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Leader of the Opposition L K Advani will call on the visiting President.

''India and Laos have traditionally enjoyed warm and friendly relations anchored in civilisational and spiritual ties since ancient times. These were further strengthened over recent decades by the constructive role played by India as chair of International Supervisory and Control Commission till 1975,'' an External Affairs Ministry spokesman said here today.

Laos as a member of the ASEAN and an important country in the Indo-China region plays a significant role in India's 'Look East Policy'.

Lao PDR has played a very crucial and supportive role for India to join the East Asia Summit and supports India for a permanent seat in the expanded UN Security Council.

India already has an active programme of bilateral cooperation with Lao PDR, which has seen the establishment of Lao-India Entrepreneurship Development Center, Lao-India Center for English Language Training, Capacity Building Programmes and IT Cooperation.

The two countries will take further steps for enhancing this cooperation through project investments and other areas during the visit.

UNI RB LPB MIR KP1845

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