Malaysian PM Seeks to Strengthen Ties With Laos During Official Visit

Malaysian PM Anwar Ibrahim with Lao PM Sonexay Siphandone in Vientiane Capital.

The official visit of Malaysian PM Anwar Ibrahim to Laos from 26-27 June is expected to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.

The Malaysian PM arrived in Vientiane on Monday, along with his wife and a delegation following an invitation from his Lao counterpart Sonexay Siphandone.

Foreign Minister Zambry Abdul Kadir said in a press conference ahead of the visit that this was an important trip as Malaysia would be taking over the ASEAN chairmanship in 2025 after Laos.

“The Prime Minister’s visit to Laos will provide an opportunity for leaders of both countries to build positive momentum before Laos assumes the Asean chairmanship from Indonesia,” he said.

On Tuesday, the Lao and Malaysian prime ministers will have a bilateral meeting to discuss ways to strengthen relations between the two countries as well as boost cooperation on the economic front.

The two prime ministers will also attend the MOU signings between Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) and Lao National Railway State Enterprise (LNRSE); Mutiara Perlis Sdn Bhd (MPSB) and Thanaleng Dry Port (TDP), and Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) and Electricite du Laos (EDL).

During his first official trip to the country, the Malaysian PM will also pay courtesy visits to the President of Laos, Mr. Thongloun Sisoulith at the Presidential Palace and the National Assembly President, Mr. Xaysomphone Phomvihane, at the National Assembly building.

Aditionally, on Monday, a bilateral meeting was held between Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Laos Saleumxay Kommasith and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia Zambry Abdul Kadir.

The two leaders spoke about how their cooperation efforts have expanded since the nations first established diplomatic ties in 1966. On this occasion, Mr. Saleumxay thanked the people and government of Malaysia for their support over the years, especially their assistance toward human resource development provided through the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Program, funds for training, and timely help during the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.