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Laos, US in Highest contact since war
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Laos, US in highest contact since war
AsiaOne Wed, 14 Jul 2010 02:11 AM PDT
WASHINGTON - The United States and Laos pledged Tuesday to step up cooperation after their highest-level talks since the Vietnam War, the latest country in a renewed US effort to engage Southeast Asia.







Laos, US in highest contact since war
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Wed, Jul 14, 2010
AFP
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WASHINGTON - The United States and Laos pledged Tuesday to step up cooperation after their highest-level talks since the Vietnam War, the latest country in a renewed US effort to engage Southeast Asia.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Foreign Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, who was paying the first visit by a top Laotian official to Washington since the communist victory in his nation in 1975.

Clinton and Thongloun pledged to step up exchanges between the United States and Laos, where China has increasingly exerted influence.

Growing cooperation is "producing mutual benefits and a constructive relationship contributing to peace, stability and cooperation for development in the region and the world," the joint statement said.

In a practical sign of ties, the two countries signed an "open-skies" agreement allowing access to each other's airlines, which officials said may give a small boost to tourism in isolated and landlocked Laos.

US relations with Laos, while never severed, were long tense, in part over its campaign against the Hmong hill people who assisted US forces during the Vietnam War along with uncertainties over American troops missing in action.

But the United States established normal trade ties with Laos in 2004 and has recently looked at ways to help clean up ordnance that continues to take a heavy civilian toll.

US forces dropped millions of bombs on the country to cut off North Vietnam supply lines, which according to a survey earlier this year have killed or injured some 50,000 people in Laos.

Philip Crowley, the State Department spokesman, said that Clinton and Thongloun discussed "a wide range of old and new areas for bilateral cooperation."

"The United States is committed to building our relationship with Laos as part of our broader efforts to expand engagement with Southeast Asia," Crowley told reporters.

President Barack Obama's administration has put a new focus on Southeast Asia, saying the region was overlooked as George W. Bush's former administration became preoccupied with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Obama administration last year initiated a dialogue with another isolated state in Southeast Asia - Myanmar, also known as Burma, whose military regime has curtailed the rights of the democratic opposition.

Ernie Bower, who heads the Southeast Asia program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, saw the talks with Laos as a new example of the US effort to "really try to broaden and deepen engagement with all the ASEAN countries."

As for Laos, "they know there are interest groups in the United States who are out to pressure them on issues they just don't want to talk about, like the Hmong," Bower said.

"The Lao were a little nervous about taking the diplomatic risks of reaching out their hand, but now they are starting to see a little return," he said, pointing to growing US business in Laos since restrictions were lifted.

Some 250,000 Hmong have resettled in the United States and often speak of persecution in Laos, enlisting support of US lawmakers to pressure the Vientiane government.

China has meanwhile been seeking to improve relations with Laos, with China's Vice President and heir apparent Xi Jinping visiting last month.

Beijing has also pledged to invest in Laotian infrastructure, which would help transport Chinese goods to key regional hub Thailand.

In the joint statement, Thongloun said he invited Clinton to visit Laos. The only secretary of state to visit Laos was John Foster Dulles, who spent a day in the then-monarchy in 1955.

Former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice skipped a meeting of ASEAN, or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, in Laos in 2005, sending instead her deputy Robert Zoellick.

 

 

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Anonymous

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Anonymous wrote:


Laos, US in highest contact since war
AsiaOne Wed, 14 Jul 2010 02:11 AM PDT
WASHINGTON - The United States and Laos pledged Tuesday to step up cooperation after their highest-level talks since the Vietnam War, the latest country in a renewed US effort to engage Southeast Asia.







Laos, US in highest contact since war
blank.gif
Wed, Jul 14, 2010
AFP
but_printfriendly.gif blank.gif but_email.gif

WASHINGTON - The United States and Laos pledged Tuesday to step up cooperation after their highest-level talks since the Vietnam War, the latest country in a renewed US effort to engage Southeast Asia.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Foreign Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, who was paying the first visit by a top Laotian official to Washington since the communist victory in his nation in 1975.

Clinton and Thongloun pledged to step up exchanges between the United States and Laos, where China has increasingly exerted influence.

 

Growing cooperation is "producing mutual benefits and a constructive relationship contributing to peace, stability and cooperation for development in the region and the world," the joint statement said.

In a practical sign of ties, the two countries signed an "open-skies" agreement allowing access to each other's airlines, which officials said may give a small boost to tourism in isolated and landlocked Laos.

US relations with Laos, while never severed, were long tense, in part over its campaign against the Hmong hill people who assisted US forces during the Vietnam War along with uncertainties over American troops missing in action.

But the United States established normal trade ties with Laos in 2004 and has recently looked at ways to help clean up ordnance that continues to take a heavy civilian toll.

US forces dropped millions of bombs on the country to cut off North Vietnam supply lines, which according to a survey earlier this year have killed or injured some 50,000 people in Laos.

Philip Crowley, the State Department spokesman, said that Clinton and Thongloun discussed "a wide range of old and new areas for bilateral cooperation."

"The United States is committed to building our relationship with Laos as part of our broader efforts to expand engagement with Southeast Asia," Crowley told reporters.

President Barack Obama's administration has put a new focus on Southeast Asia, saying the region was overlooked as George W. Bush's former administration became preoccupied with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Obama administration last year initiated a dialogue with another isolated state in Southeast Asia - Myanmar, also known as Burma, whose military regime has curtailed the rights of the democratic opposition.

Ernie Bower, who heads the Southeast Asia program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, saw the talks with Laos as a new example of the US effort to "really try to broaden and deepen engagement with all the ASEAN countries."

As for Laos, "they know there are interest groups in the United States who are out to pressure them on issues they just don't want to talk about, like the Hmong," Bower said.

"The Lao were a little nervous about taking the diplomatic risks of reaching out their hand, but now they are starting to see a little return," he said, pointing to growing US business in Laos since restrictions were lifted.

Some 250,000 Hmong have resettled in the United States and often speak of persecution in Laos, enlisting support of US lawmakers to pressure the Vientiane government.

China has meanwhile been seeking to improve relations with Laos, with China's Vice President and heir apparent Xi Jinping visiting last month.

Beijing has also pledged to invest in Laotian infrastructure, which would help transport Chinese goods to key regional hub Thailand.

In the joint statement, Thongloun said he invited Clinton to visit Laos. The only secretary of state to visit Laos was John Foster Dulles, who spent a day in the then-monarchy in 1955.

Former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice skipped a meeting of ASEAN, or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, in Laos in 2005, sending instead her deputy Robert Zoellick.

 

 

201071452826554621_5.jpg

 

 

 




I thought that, Thongloun goes there just want to ask the big company such as KFC, pizza hut and Mcdonalds to invest in Laos, why do they call about the open skies and Hmong???



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Anonymous

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" Open Skies " will bring more tourists to Laos, i love this idea.

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Anonymous

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It's time to unite between Lao-nai and Lao-nork!

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Anonymous

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Anonymous wrote:

" Open Skies " will bring more tourists to Laos, i love this idea.




but which company will open the direct flight from US to Laos??yawn



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