Laos and US Strengthen Ties During Official Visit

Laos and the US strengthen ties

Laos and the US  will develop stronger economic ties and enhance comprehensive partnership, according to discussions held during a visit to Laos by a senior US official.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Southeast Asia W. Patrick Murphy visited Laos from January 16-17. He was received by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sengphet Houngboungnuang.

“Our joint future is bright as we work together to realize the promise of the Comprehensive Partnership,” said Mr Murphy, according to a United States Embassy press release.

The deputy secretary of state outlined various fields in which Laos and the US can strengthen ties, including accelerating UXO clearance, investing in institutional development, and expanding economic ties.

Mr Murphy also had a meeting with Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce Somchit Inthamith to discuss economic ties between Laos and the US in greater detail, as well as meetings with officials from the Lao health sector to discuss the Lao-American Nutrition Institute.

After departing Vientiane, Mr Murphy visited Xieng Khuang Province where he observed UXO clearance work being undertaken there with US funding.

President Obama visited Laos last September and announced a larger budget for US funded UXO clearance in Laos, at US $90 million over three years.