U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Vientiane, Laos, from July 25-26 to participate in the ASEAN Regional Forum, the East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers Meeting, the ASEAN-U.S. Ministerial Meeting, and the Lower Mekong Initiative Ministerial Meeting. At these ASEAN meetings, the Secretary will discuss the region’s security architecture and shared transnational challenges. Secretary Kerry also plans to meet separately with Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith to discuss the rapidly expanding U.S.-Lao PDR relationship and preview President Barack Obama’s visit to the Lao PDR in September.
The Secretary last visited the Lao PDR in January 2016. At that time, he highlighted 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 emphasized 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.
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.