U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel R. Russel visited the Lao PDR on August11 and 12 to prepare for President Obama’s historic visit to Laos next month. Assistant Secretary Russel met separately with Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith and Xaysomphone Phomvihane, President of the Lao Front for Construction, to discuss the growing bilateral relationship and make final preparations for the President’s visit. Mr. Russel also met with Senior Officials from 17 other countries to prepare for the East Asia Summit that will be held in Laos on September 8, which President Obama will attend.
Daniel Russel is the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. Prior to his appointment as Assistant Secretary in 2013, Mr. Russel served at the White House as Special Assistant to the President and National Security Council Senior Director for Asian Affairs. During his tenure there, he helped formulate President Obama’s strategic rebalance to the Asia Pacific Region, including efforts to strengthen alliances, deepen U.S. engagement with multilateral organizations, and expand cooperation with emerging powers in the region.