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Party advisor stresses importance of effective diplomacy

A former minister of foreign affairs has advised the ministry’s officials to acquaint themselves with the diplomatic activities carried out by the country’s leaders during the fight for national liberation and Laos’ subsequent defence and development.
Advisor to the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party Central Committee, Mr Somsavat Lengsavad, gave the advice in a lecture he delivered at the ministry on Friday to mark 75 years of Lao diplomacy (October 12, 1945-October 12, 2020).
“I want you to understand the nature of fighting through the use of force and fighting in a political or diplomatic way. It is the use diplomatic means that has been part of many of the activities undertaken in Laos,” he said.
Mr Somsavat, who is also a former member of the Politburo and former deputy prime minister, told those attending the lecture about instances of successful diplomatic activity during the struggle for national independence and liberation.
He also highlighted work undertaken since the proclamation of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic to garner support from the international community for national defence and development.
Mr Somsavath also talked about the wise directions issued by the Party, the direct, close and comprehensive guidance given by the Politburo during every phase of development, and the joint efforts made by the Party Central Committee and government in responsibly guiding the work of personnel, military and police officers at the central and local levels, as well as business operators, all Lao citizens and Lao people living overseas.
All of this contributed to the success of Lao diplomacy, he said.
Through its involvement in foreign affairs and diplomacy, Laos has gained increased understanding and support from friendly members of the international community.
According to a press release issued by the ministry, since broadening relations and cooperation with countries and international organisations, Laos has established diplomatic relations with 143 countries.
There are 40 diplomatic representative agencies overseas, of which 26 are embassies, three are permanent representative offices, 10 are general consulates, and one is a consulate office.
Laos also has 17 honorary consulates while 18 countries have honorary consulates in Laos.
Laos has relations with 140 political parties around the world and has created friendship associations with 18 countries.
In addition, the government has signed agreements on visa waivers for holders of diplomatic and service passports from 37 countries, and bilateral visa waivers for holders of ordinary passports from 11 countries (nine Asean countries, Russia and Mongolia).
Unilateral visa waivers have also been agreed to for holders of ordinary passports from the Republic of Korea, Japan and Switzerland.
Laos has 28 international border crossings, and five friendship bridges that link Laos to neighbouring countries.
Mr Somsavat, who worked with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for more than 10 years, stressed the need for civil servants to have a sound understanding of Marxist-Leninist theory and to strongly adhere to the directions and policies of the Party and government.
He also advised officials to follow the Party’s directions for national development on the path to socialism if they wanted to be good diplomats.
In conclusion, Mr Somsavat advised officials to deepen their understanding of the ideology and theories promulgated by the late President Kaysone Phomvihane, the views of the Party and government on global issues, and Laos’ history and geography.
It was important for all civil servants to familiarise themselves with these issues and broaden their knowledge, he said.

By Somxay Sengdara
(Latest Update
October 12,

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