U.S. President Barack Obama met with Prime Minister of the Lao PDR Thongsing Thammavong in Kuala Lumpur on November 21 to discuss the expanding relationship between the two nations. During the meeting Prime Minster Thongsing Thammavong highlighted the growing partnership between the U.S. and Laos in the health and UXO clearance sectors.
The two leaders were in Malaysia to participate in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summits. Next year, Laos will take over the ASEAN chairmanship.
“I look forward to becoming the first U.S. President to visit Laos when it hosts ASEAN next year.” President Obama stated during a speech at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit.
In his speech, President Obama congratulated ASEAN on launching the new ASEAN Community. He highlighted the United States’ expanding economic relationship with ASEAN: “Today, ASEAN is one of the largest markets for U.S. exports, and American businesses invest more in ASEAN than any other of these regions.”
The U.S. is committed to helping Laos successfully host high-level ASEAN meetings in 2016, including the ASEAN Summit and the East Asia Summit.