Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, Laotian PM Discuss Bilateral Ties

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Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj with Laotian Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith.

Vientiane, Laos:

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday met Laotian Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith in Vientiane and discussed bilateral relations and areas of mutual interest and cooperation as they resolved to strengthen ties through political dialogue and increased trade and investment.

Ms Swaraj assured Laotian PM Sisoulith that India will stand by Laos in its quest for development and growth and will be happy to assist through soft loan projects aimed at building the country's infrastructure including roads, agriculture & irrigation, IT, human resource development and other sectors, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.

"Both agreed that India and Laos enjoy excellent bilateral relations which need to be strengthened further," the MEA said.

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Earlier, Ms Swaraj met her Laotian counterpart Saleumxay Kommasith and held wide-ranging talks to enhance cooperation in key areas.

Ms Swaraj, who is in Laos on a two-day visit, co-chaired the ninth Joint Commission Meeting with Mr Kommasith as the two ministers laid out a roadmap for collaboration and partnership.

They held constructive discussions covering cooperation in agriculture, trade and investment, defence, education, culture, information technology, energy and mining, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

"Swaraj offered to share India's expertise and experience towards supporting developmental needs of Laos, taking the total offer of grant and line of credit proposal to USD 250 million," Mr Kumar said.

On Thursday, she attended an Indian community event and interacted with participants. She asked the community to work towards contributing to the increase of bilateral contacts between India and Laos especially in the commercial and cultural fields.

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