Laos will exert efforts to ensure ASEAN’s solidarity and centrality in international issues, the country’s Deputy Foreign Minister Alounkeo Kittikhoun said on August 8.

He told Vietnam News Agency correspondents that the ASEAN Community will be established at the end of this year and comprised of three pillars, namely the ASEAN Political-Security Community, the ASEAN Economic Community and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community. The bloc will also adopt its vision and action plan for the next 10 years at that point in time.

Holding the ASEAN Chair in 2016, Laos will prioritise the implementation of the vision and action plan, the official said.

He noted that Laos became an ASEAN member in 1997 was a testimony to its foreign policy of peace, cooperation and friendship with all countries around the globe, especially neighbours.

The ASEAN membership has also helped raise Laos’s stature in the region and the world at large as the grouping has up to 10 partner and dialogue nations at present, he said, adding that through the ASEAN plus forums, his country has set up more multilateral cooperation relations, not only in politics but also social and economic aspects.

Founded on August 8, 1967, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) consists of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.-VNA