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Lao, Thai Security Forces Step Up Mekong Border Control

Source: Vientiane Times

Lao and Thai military personnel recently took part in a joint patrol of the countries’ shared border on the Mekong River, in a bid to tackle crimes such as drug trafficking, illegal immigration, and illicit cross-border trade.

The patrol was a joint exercise involving military units stationed in Borikhamxay province and the adjoining Thai province of Bueng Kan.

The two sides also held a meeting to discuss future cooperation in border control, with plans to strengthen coordination and beef up river patrols along the Lao-Thai border in this area.

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They expressed the hope that closer cooperation would ensure greater security and help to curb cross-border criminal activity.

The aim is to ensure that the border area in the Mekong River is a place of peace, amity, and sustainable development.

Meanwhile, the two countries are engaged in the construction of a fifth Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge across the Mekong, linking Borikhamxay and Bueng Kan provinces.

Construction of the bridge began in January 2021 and as of the beginning of February this year was 60 percent complete. The bridge is expected to be completed and open to traffic in early 2024.

The bridge is seen as key to developing the border area between Borikhamxay and Bueng Kan provinces into a significant economic hub, bolstering trade and leading to increased prosperity.