Campbell: US To Improve Ties With Laos

Posted October 11th, 2011 at 6:15 pm (UTC-5)
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A senior U.S. official says the United States is committed to enhancing communication and engagement with Laos.

Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell says Washington and Vientiane have been cooperating on unresolved issues stemming from the Vietnam War, such as unexploded ordinance. And he says some of the most enduring areas of cooperation are related to health. But he says there also have been cultural and educational exchanges.

Campbell spoke about U.S. engagement in Asia at the Chulalongkorn University in the Thai capital Monday.

He said that despite budgetary constraints, Lao students and military officers have had a chance to study at the Asia-Pacific Center in Hawaii. He noted that he visited Laos last year to launch a new strategic dialogue and that Lao officials made a return visit. He said there will be further meetings in the coming months.

Relations between the United States and Laos were cold after the Vietnam War, but the two countries restored full diplomatic relations in the early 1990s.

Campbell is wrapping up his week-long tour of southeast Asia with a visit to China. He also has made stops in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Brunei.