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US Congress delegations visit Laos to deepen cooperation

Two high-level delegations from the US Congress visited Laos from February 21-25 with the aim of promoting friendship and cooperation.
The US Congress members met with high ranking officials of the Lao government and discussed progress on bilateral cooperation.
According to a press release from US Embassy in Vientiane, the first delegation, from the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee, arrived on February 21. It was led by its Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen, Republican Representative from New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District. Pete Aguilar, the Democratic Congressman from California’s 31st Congressional District also joined the delegation.

The House Appropriations Committee is widely viewed as one of the most important committees in Congress due to its influential role in determining the US government’s budget, which includes foreign assistance.
The second delegation of seven members from the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee arrived on February 23, and was led by Chairman Bob Goodlatte, a Republican from Virginia’s 6th Congressional District.
The House Judiciary Committee is charged with overseeing the administration of justice within the federal courts and federal law enforcement entities.
US Ambassador to Laos Rena Bitter said “The visits by these two highly influential delegations underscore the United States’ support to the Lao-US Comprehensive Partnership and our commitment to building stronger ties between our two peoples.”
The delegations met with National Assembly President Mrs Pany Yathotou, Deputy Prime Minister Dr Sonexay Siphandone, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Mr Somdy Duangdy, Foreign Minister Mr Saleumxay Kommasith, and other high ranking officials.
The two sides exchanged views on the legislature’s role in conducting oversight and ensuring accountability in other branches of government. They also explored ways to deepen ties between the US Congress and the National Assembly, including through future legislative exchanges. 
The US delegations were impressed by the significant advances made in the bilateral relationship across a wide range of sectors.
Delegation members commended the Lao government’s efforts to strengthen the rule of law, reduce corruption, and improve the business climate.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update
February 27,

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