BANGKOK, May 21 (Xinhua) -- Several cooperation projects on the connection between Thailand and Laos, including a new cross-border railway in southern Laos, have been discussed by the two countries' transport ministers.
Thai transport minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith on Monday held a meeting with Laos' Public Works and Transport Minister Bounchanh Sinthavong on the cross-border transport and rail projects at a hotel in Nong Khai province.
According to a press statement from Thai ministry of transport, the Thai ministry already asked the Thai government to include feasibility study on the 80-km Thai part of the Ubon Ratchathani-Pakse Railway in its budget of year 2020.
The two countries are already linked by a meter-gauge rail between Nong Khai and Thanaleng in suburb Vientiane. The statement said the two ministers talked about the operation of the extension part of the Thailand-Laos railway from Thanaleng to Vientiane city center, for which a contractor is currently under selection process.
The short summary of the meeting also mentioned a new bridge will be built across Mekong River as part of Thailand-China-Laos railway cooperation to link the Thailand-China railway with China-Laos railway.
Meanwhile, the statement said the fifth Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge project between Bueng Kan province in northeastern Thailand and Bolikhamxay province in Laos will be proposed to the Thai cabinet for approval next week while the sixth Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge project between Ubon Ratchathani province in northeastern Thailand and Salavan province in southern Laos would follow.
The third Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge between Nakhon Phanom province in northeastern Thailand and Khammoune province in Laos and the fourth Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge between Chiang Khong district in northern Thailand and Huay Xai city in Laos will undergo repairs, according to the statement.