The following is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:
Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman met today with Thongphane Savanphet, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, in Vientiane. The Deputy Secretary reaffirmed the United States’ strong support for Lao sovereignty and economic development and underscored the importance of ASEAN centrality and regional stability. The Deputy Secretary thanked Laos for its participation at the U.S.-ASEAN Special Summit and noted the summit demonstrated how the United States prioritizes its relationship with Southeast Asian partners. The Deputy Secretary and the Deputy Foreign Minister discussed ways to deepen U.S.-Laos cooperation in several areas underpinned by ASEAN unity, respect for human rights, and the rule of law. The Deputy Secretary highlighted our two countries’ cooperation as current Mekong-U.S. Partnership co-chairs. Deputy Secretary Sherman also condemned Putin’s war of choice against Ukraine and discussed the impact of Putin’s decision on the global economy. Deputy Secretary Sherman also urged Laos to press for progress on implementing ASEAN’s Five-Point Consensus in Burma. The Deputy Secretary emphasized the importance of war legacy cooperation, our robust U.S.-Laos unexploded ordnance clearance program, and the United States’ continued support to Laos’ COVID-19 recovery efforts.