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Mr Saleumxay Kommasith (right) welcomes Ms Penny Wong.

Laos, Australia vow to cement ties

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumxay Kommasith and Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong have agreed to work together to enhance relations and broaden cooperation between Laos and Australia.
Ms Wong is on a two-day official visit to Laos at the invitation of Mr Saleumxay in order to enhance the longstanding relations and broaden cooperation between the two nations, the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release. The two ministers discussed future cooperation in a wide range of areas.
“Both sides re-affirmed their intention to elevate the relations and cooperation between Laos and Australia into a Comprehensive Partnership in the soonest future,” the Lao ministry said. The ministers said they highly valued the growing ties and cooperation between the two nations since Laos and Australia established diplomatic relations on January 15, 1952.
The two governments have maintained regular reciprocal visits by high-level delegations as well as people-to-people exchanges. The ministers also exchanged views on regional and global issues of common interest.
They agreed to continue cooperation and extend mutual support through regional and global arenas, including Mekong cooperation frameworks, Asean, and the United Nations.
These include cooperation from 2021-2024 when Laos acts as the official coordinator between Asean and Australia, and Lao preparations to chair Asean next year, as Asean and Australia prepare to mark the 50th anniversary of their dialogue partnership. Australia, Laos’ third largest provider of Official Development Assistance, has provided assistance to Laos in a wide range of areas including education, human resource development, infrastructure development, clearance of unexploded ordnance, and affairs within the framework of Asean – the regional bloc of which Laos is a member.
Minister Saleumxay, on behalf of the government and people of Laos, expressed heartfelt gratitude to the government and people of Australia for the valuable assistance extended to Laos.
Australia’s assistance, he said, has contributed significantly to Laos’ socio-economic development and poverty alleviation, bolstering efforts to ensure Laos graduates from Least Developed Country status. The Lao minister also thanked Australia for the cooperation and assistance extended to Laos within the Asean framework, including Laos’ preparations to chair Asean next year.
For her part, Minister Wong thanked Laos for acting as the coordinating country between Laos and Australia and pledged support for Laos’ chairmanship of Asean in 2024.
The Australian minister expressed heartfelt gratitude to the government and people of Laos for the support extended to Australia in the regional and global arenas. She vowed continuous support, cooperation and assistance for Laos in order to fulfil cooperation agreements between Laos and Australia.
After their talks, Minister Wong and Lao Minister of Energy and Mines Phoxay Sayasone signed the Laos-Australia Sustainable Energy Partnership, which was witnessed by Mr Saleumxay. Minister Wong also called on Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone and met the Head of the External Relations Committee of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, Thongsavanh Phomvihane.

By Times Reporters
 (Latest Update May 16, 2023)


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