Election of NA deputies to be held
on May 19The election of deputies to the 11th National Assembly will be held
on Sunday, May 19, 2002, the NA Standing Committee decided on January 26.

The National Assembly Standing Committee on January 26 issued decision on
the announcement of the date for the elections of deputies to the 11th
tenure of the NA and the establishment of an election council.

The Standing Committee decided to establish a 21-member election council
headed by Nguyen Van An, Politburo member of the Party Central Committee and
NA Chairman. (VNA) 


Vietnamese, Cambodian, Lao PMs meet on development triangle

The prime ministers of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos have defined ways to
strengthen co-operation in building a 'Vietnam-Cambodia-Laos development
triangle,' and stressed the importance of strengthening friendship,
considering it an important factor in their countries' stability and

Vietnamese Prime Minister Phan Van Khai, and his Cambodian and Lao
counterparts, Hun Sen and Bounyang Vorachith, respectively, met in Ho Chi
Minh City on January 26. This is the second meeting between the prime
ministers of the three Indochinese neighbours, the first held in Vientiane,
Laos, on October 20, 1999.

The leaders discussed concrete measures to build the development triangle,
giving co-operation priorities to building and upgrading traffic networks
linking provinces in the triangle, carrying out projects on developing trade
relations, boosting co-operation in tourism for the idea of "three
countries, one destination" and energy production.

They agreed to devise a master plan for socio-economic development, starting
with seven provinces - Ratanakiri and Stung Treng in Cambodia, Attopeu and
Sekong in Laos, and Kon Tum, Gia Lai and Dak Lak in Vietnam.

They also agreed to build mechanisms and develop policies for the master

The three prime ministers expressed their determination to build the
development triangle to boost socio-economic development in the common
border areas, in conformity with the 1998 Hanoi Programme of Action on
poverty reduction and bridging the development gap among ASEAN countries.

They informed each other of the situation in their respective countries and
exchanged views on regional and international issues of common concern.

The three prime ministers praised achievements gained recently by each
country. They affirmed their determination to develop their internal
strength, increase the efficiency of international co-operation and
accelerate the process of integrating into regional and international
economies, thus contributing to peace, stability, co-operation and
development in the region.

The three prime ministers agreed to accelerate their countries' close
co-operation under the framework of the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (ASEAN), with the aim of strengthening solidarity, boosting
co-operation and maintaining the basic principles of the association.

The leaders pointed to the need to work together in implementing
co-operation programmes to develop the Mekong basin in order to ensure the
interests of countries lying on the basin with regard to exploitation,
utilisation and conservation of the resources; enhance economic co-operation
in the Mekong sub-region, especially in transportation and communications,
commerce, tourism, environment and personnel training; and promote
co-operation programmes under the framework of the East-West Corridor.

They exchanged views on concrete measures to boost co-operation in
maintaining security and social order along the three countries' borders,
preventing and fighting terrorist attacks in each country, and combating
trans-national crime and drug trafficking.

Prime Minister Khai and his Lao counterpart, Bounyang Vorachith, expressed
their support for Cambodia hosting the eighth ASEAN Summit later this year.
Vietnam and Laos pledged to co-operate with Cambodia in ensuring the success
of the summit. Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen expressed appreciation for
that support. 

The prime ministers unanimously agreed to organise the third conference in
Phnom Penh in 2003.

The Lao and Cambodian prime ministers thanked Prime Minister Khai, the
government and people of Vietnam for their warm welcome.

The same day, Prime Minister Khai met with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen,
discussing issues concerning their countries' bilateral relationship.

Also on this occasion, talks were held between Foreign Minister Nguyen Dy
Nien of Vietnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Somsavath
Lengsavad of Laos, and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International
Co-operation, Hor Namhong, of Cambodia.

In the evening of January 26, Prime Minister Khai held a banquet in honour
of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Lao Prime Minister Bounyang

The three prime ministers will also visit some cultural sites in Vietnam.


PM praises efforts of Fisheries Ministry

Mr Khai praised the Ministry of Fisheries for its efforts in organising
annual fisheries fairs, thus creating opportunities for domestic and foreign
businesses to exchange information and product marketing and seek partners.

This was during his visit to Vietfish 2002 on January 27, being held in Ho
Chi Minh City by the Ministry of Fisheries, Association of Import-processing

The prime minister expressed his pleasure at the positive changes and useful
activities of the fair, better in quality and quantity, as well as the
contest 'Golden quality of Vietnam's aqua-products' and seminars on
fisheries and the world market to discuss the orientation of Vietnam's
fisheries development, assess the US market for Vietnam's aqua-products and
initiate strategies for building Vietnam's aqua-product trademarks in the
US, European markets, Thailand's shrimp industry and an overall view of
China's aqua-product market.

Mr Khai said he hoped that many businesses will benefit from the exhibition,
in terms of seeking partners and signing contacts. He also asked the
fisheries sectors and businesses to continue improving the quality of
products so as to be more active in introducing products and expanding
markets to gain higher export turnover and contribute to the national

Vietfish 2002 attracts the participation of 122 Vietnamese and foreign
establishments are displaying their products, including processed
aqua-products, processing equipment, packaging animal feed and chemicals for
aqua-culture at 180 pavilions, an increase of 20% over Vietfish 2001.

Over 20 foreign companies come from the US, Japan, China, Thailand, Germany,
Singapore, Australia, Sweden, France, Denmark and Taiwan.


Belgian defence minister concludes visit

The Belgian Defence Minister, Andre Flahaut, and his entourage left Hanoi on
the afternoon, January 26, concluding a four-day visit to Vietnam.

During their stay, the Belgian delegation paid courtesy visits to President
Tran Duc Luong, National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Van An, General Vo Nguyen
Giap, and Permanent Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Dinh Bin.

They held talks with Vietnam's Defence Minister, Senior Lieutenant General
Pham Van Tra, and attended the inauguration ceremony of a Belgian military
attache office in Hanoi.

They also laid a floral tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at his Mausoleum
and visited his living and working quarters, the Navy Command Centre, the
Bomb and Mine Treatment Centre, the Military Museum, the Temple of
Literature, the Peace and Friendship Village, all in Hanoi, as well as Ha
Long Bay - a world cultural heritage site in Quang Ninh province and the
Dinh Vu industrial zone in Haiphong city. (VNA)


Regional co-operation discussed

Representatives of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam have met to discuss
co-operation between themselves and other ASEAN member countries through new
plans of action and co-operation programmes.

The third meeting on regional co-operation of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and
Vietnam was held in Hanoi on January 21-24 by the Ministry of Planning and
Investment, the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) and Technical
Co-operation Agency (TCA).

The meeting was attended by nearly 30 delegates from the four mentioned
countries as well as the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.

The participants also discussed orientations for ASEAN co-operation, a plan
of action between Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, and a better
mechanism for effective activities between governments and JICA offices in
respective countries. (VNA)


Volunteers' remains returned from Cambodia

The remains of 200 army volunteers were handed over to Vietnam by Cambodia
at a ceremony held at Duc Co border gate of Central Highlands Gia Lai
province on January 27.

The remains had been discovered during the first phase of the joint search
conducted by the two sides in Natarakiri province of Cambodia.

Among those present at the ceremony were representatives of the Vietnamese
and Cambodian governments' taskforce committees and defence ministries of
the two countries. 

Speaking on this occasion, the Gia Lai People's Committee's Chairman Ha Son
Nhin spoke highly of the friendship and solidarity between the two peoples
and thanked Cambodian province Natarakiri's officials and people for their
close co-operation in the search for Vietnamese volunteers' remains.

After memorial services, the remains were reburied at cemeteries for fallen
combatants in Gia Lai and Kon Tum provinces. (VNA)

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