Vietnam calls on Laos to delay Mekong River dam for 10 years

The Vietnamese government has urged Laos to postpone construction of a controversial dam on the mekong River, a senior official said Tuesday.

Vietnam asked Laos not to build the Xayaburi dam for a period of 10 years to enable a full impact assessment, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Pham Khoi Nguyen told the German Press Agency dpa.

Nguyen, who is the chairman of mekong River Committee, said the government expressed concern over the dam, which would affect Vietnam’s mekong Delta, and asked Laos to provide documents relating to its construction.

He said the documents that Vietnam had received lacked realistic statistical assessments.

Nguyen said the four-country committee would hold a ministerial level meeting in November to discuss the issue.

The mekong River Committee failed on April 19 to reach agreement on the proposed 3.5-billion-dollar dam, which environmentalists warn could have a disastrous impact on downstream countries.


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