US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong (Source: AP)
Vientiane (VNA) – US Secretary of State John Kerry held talks with Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Thongloun Sisoulith in Vientiane on January 25 as part of his official visit to the Southeast Asian nation.

The two sides discussed many important issues to increase bilateral cooperation in the fields of bombs and mines left over from war, health care, education, drug crime prevention, environment, economy and trade.

They also talked about multilateral collaboration in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Preparations for the ASEAN-US special summit were also under discussion. The US will hold the summit in February to work on bilateral strategic plans from 2016 to 2020.

The two officials also discussed preparations for the historic visit of US President Barack Obama to Laos at the end of the year.

The same day, Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong hosted a reception for the US Secretary of State, during which he urged the two countries to closely work together to actualise their action plans to bolster cooperation.

Laos is taking over as Chair of ASEAN in 2016 – the first year of the ASEAN Community.

It will host an ASEAN summit this year with the participation of US and Chinese leaders.-VNA