Laos, Botswana Forge New Friendship in Landmark Signing Ceremony

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Anouphab Vongnokeo, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Laos to the United Nations (UN), and Lemogang Kwape, Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Republic of Botswana in a momentous signing ceremony for the establishment of diplomatic relations on 11 December 2023 in New York City, the United States. (Photo: Lao National Radio)

In a bid to strengthen diplomatic ties and foster friendship and bilateral cooperation, Laos and the Republic of Botswana engaged in a momentous signing ceremony for the establishment of diplomatic relations on 11 December in New York City, the United States.

The joint statement was signed by Anouphab Vongnokeo, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Laos to the United Nations (UN), and Lemogang Kwape, Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Republic of Botswana.

Home to approximately 2.8 million people, Botswana sprawls across 581,730 square kilometers in the heart of the Southern Africa Continent, sharing borders with South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. Botswana is also famous for its natural tourist sites acknowledged by UNESCO, such as the Tsodilo Hills and the Okavango Delta.

Having been a UN member since 17 October 1966, Botswana actively engages in UN activities, including peacekeeping and holding key roles as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. In the UN forum, Laos and Botswana collaborate in a number of groups, including the Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs), the Group of 77 and China, and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), among others.

Laos, presently poised to take over the ASEAN chairmanship in 2024, sees the initiation of diplomatic ties with Botswana as a strategic decision in line with its foreign policy of “Peace, Independence, Friendship, and Cooperation.” This represents a noteworthy advancement in broadening the diplomatic presence of Laos to encompass 149 countries worldwide.