Senior officials from the U.S. Embassy and U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) met August 1-3 in Honolulu with senior officials from the Ministry of National Defense (MND) for the 11th Lao-United States Bilateral Defense Dialogue.
The meeting was led by Brigadier General Kenchanh Nangthalasy, Director of Foreign Relations Department (FRD), Ministry of National Defense (MND) and Brigadier General Suzanne Vares-Lum, J5 Mobilization Assistant. Over thirty Lao and U.S. delegates participated in the event, including representatives from the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs and from the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy in Washington D.C.
Ambassador Daniel Clune, in his opening remarks, noted the significant expansion of bilateral military cooperation in recent years, and the positive impact this is having on the overall U.S.-Lao relationship.
The Bilateral Defense Dialogue (BDD) is a forum for bilateral consultations between the Lao Ministry of National Defense and U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) to strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation, as well as to develop defense cooperation programs that enhance relations between our security forces, encourage greater regional military cooperation, and promote the common interests of both countries. Primary topics of the dialogue included military medical cooperation; civil-military operations, to include cooperation on humanitarian UXO removal and disaster relief; training and education opportunities, to include English language training and professional military education; and Lao People’s Army participation in regional conferences, workshops, and senior level meetings.