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Thursday, June 7, 2007

France to illuminate Vientiane landmarks

The French Development Agency (AFD) Thursday granted funds of around 3.7 billion kip (euro 300,000) to the Lao government to illuminate some of the finest buildings in Vientiane .

The ceremony took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, witnessed by the Vice Mayor of Vientiane Mr Bounchanh Sinthavong along with officials from the two sides and the authorities concerned.

The grant contract was signed between the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Hiem Phommachanh, and the French Ambassador to Laos , Mr Maurice Portiche, and the Director of AFD, Mr Roger Goudiard.

The grant enables the AFD to finance the illumination of four important buildings - That Luang Stupa, the Presidential Palace ( Hor Kham ), and Sisaket and Ho Pra Keo museums.

One major goal of the project is to prepare for the next Ministerial Conference of French-speaking countries from November 19 to 21 in Vientiane . The decision to hold this event in Laos will improve the country's link to French-speaking countries.

According to a press release, the conference will be an event of great significance, and will be attended by about 50 foreign affairs ministers from French-speaking countries around the world.

With this in mind, the Lao authorities plan to provide support for the use of the French language and to ratify the convention on the promotion and protection of the diversification of cultural expression.

Vientiane already has street names written in French, and the local authority expressed thanks in advance for financial support from the French-Speaking Mayors International Association for the city beautification project ahead of the conference.

By vientiane times
(Latest Update June 04, 2007)

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