Sunday, 20 March 2011

Lower Mekong countries, U.S. meet on cooperation expansion

via CAAI

News Date: 19th March 2011

Senior officials from the foreign ministries of the Lower Mekong countries--Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam--met here on Friday with the U.S. State Department officials to draft a joint action plan for the development in four key sectors.

"The two-day meeting aims at developing a joint plan of action for the cooperation on education, environment, health and infrastructure in

the Lower Mekong countries ahead of the regional forum of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in July in Indonesia," a statement released in the meeting said.

Tuot Panha, undersecretary of state for Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said during the opening ceremony that the U.S. assistance to the Lower Mekong countries is

very vital to develop the region.

"The assistance also reflects the U.S. commitment to advancing peace and prosperity in the Mekong sub-region and in ASEAN as a whole," she said.

The participants of the meeting included Latsamy Keomany, director general of Lao's Economic Affairs Department, Surasak Chuasukonthip, deputy director general of Thai economic affairs department, Ha Huy

Thong, director general of Vietnamese economic affairs department, and Joseph Y. Yun, deputy assistant of the U.S. state department.

The meeting focused on the Lower Mekong Initiative, which was launched in July 2009 by the U.S. secretary of state and the foreign ministers

of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, with a view to developing regional approaches to address current and future trans-border challenges in the Lower Mekong countries, with the goal of advancing

peace and prosperity.

Source: GNA

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