Secretary Kerry's Meeting With Laos Foreign Minister Saleumxay
The following is attributable to Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner:
During their meeting on the margins of the ASEAN Regional Forum in Vientiane today, Secretary Kerry and Foreign Minister Saleumxay noted the increasing strength of U.S.-Laos relations, including engagement on a wide range of issues, such as health, the environment, energy, education, trade, and investment.
Secretary Kerry confirmed the United States remains committed to continued assistance and cooperation to remove unexploded ordnance (UXO) and expressed appreciation for Lao support over many years to account for our missing personnel. Secretary Kerry reiterated strong U.S. support for Laos’ ASEAN Chairmanship year and urged ASEAN to reach consensus and issue a joint statement on the arbitral tribunal’s recent ruling on the South China Sea.
Secretary Kerry and Foreign Minister Saleumxay agreed President Obama’s expected visit to attend the East Asia Summit hosted by Laos in September has the potential to put the bilateral relationship on a new footing, opening a new era of bilateral relations based on mutual respect, common interests, and a shared desire to build a foundation for the future.