U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s January 24 and 25 visit to Vientiane emphasized the deepening ties between the United States and Lao PDR. Secretary Kerry met with Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong to discuss preparations for the U.S.-ASEAN Sunnylands Summit, which will be jointly hosted by the United States and Laos in California next month. This unprecedented gathering – the first hosted by the United States with ASEAN leaders — builds on the deep partnership that the United States has forged with ASEAN since 2009.
At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Secretary Kerry met with Dr. Thongloun Sisoulith, Deputy Prime Minister of the Lao PDR, to discuss the full range of bilateral and multilateral issues, including the Lao PDR’s ASEAN chairmanship year. They talked about the expanding U.S.-Laos engagement in areas including health care, nutrition, education, justice sector reform, and environmental protection, as well as ongoing cooperation to clear unexploded ordnance remaining from the conflicts in Indochina. Secretary Kerry highlighted the U.S. commitment to partnering with the Lao PDR to improve nutrition across the country, including through the recently announced construction of the Lao-American Nutrition Institute in Vientiane. Following the official meetings, Secretary Kerry visited Pha That Luang, the national symbol of Laos, where he learned about Lao history and culture.
John Kerry was sworn in as the Secretary of State of the United States on February 1, 2013. He joined the State Department after 28 years in the United States Senate, including the last four as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Secretary Kerry is the first of many high-level visitors from the United States expected to travel to Laos this year, including President Barack Obama, who is planning to visit in September.
These historic visits demonstrate a deepening relationship between the United States and the Lao PDR.
Lao version (PDF 98KB)