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Australia Assists Laos With Purchase Of Covid-19 Vaccine

Source: Vientiane Times

Australia will extend further assistance to Laos with regard to the purchase of Covid-19 vaccine and its transport, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said.

The information was revealed following a telephone conversation on Monday between Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumxay Kommasith and his Australian counterpart, Ms Marise Payne.

Australia will also provide further technical assistance to help Laos prevent, control and address the virus outbreak.

The two sides discussed their bilateral relations and cooperation in various fields, which are being jointly implemented, and reviewed the achievements of previous cooperation.

“Australia and the Lao PDR are committed to working together to recover from Covid-19 and implement the Mekong Australia Partnership,” Ms Payne wrote on her Facebook page.

The ministers also discussed regional and international issues of common interest as well as the strengthening of cooperation through regional and international cooperation frameworks, especially the Asean, Mekong subregion and United Nations frameworks, according to the Lao ministry.

“A strong Asean is essential to our vision for a peaceful, stable and prosperous #IndoPacific,” the Australian minister said.

The two parties said they highly valued the longstanding relations and cooperation between Laos and Australia, which have been nurtured since the two countries established diplomatic relations on January 15, 1952.

High-level leaders and delegations at various levels from the two countries have made reciprocal visits, further enhancing the decades-long relationship and cooperation.

The ministers agreed to organise activities to celebrate the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties next year.

Mr Saleumxay, representing the Lao government and people, expressed gratitude to the government and people of Australia for the support and assistance extended to Laos over past years, especially the provision of official development assistance in the fields of education, human resource development, agriculture, health, and trade and investment.

The Lao minister expressed sadness over the severe flooding in New South Wales and Queensland that occurred on March 20, causing severe damage to affected communities.

For her part, Ms Payne congratulated the success of the 11th National Congress of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party. She also congratulated Mr Saleumxay on being appointed a Politburo member and to a second term as Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Ms Payne invited Mr Saleumxay to visit Australia when the Covid-19 pandemic is under control and the situation is restored to normal.