New US Embassy Opens In Vientiane
The US Embassy has moved to a new larger site on the edge of the city close to the Mekong river, away from congestion in the centre of the capital.
The official opening ceremony for the new campus style facility, located in Somvangtay village of Hadxaifong district and which cost US$145 million, was held on Friday morning.
The embassy site of over two hectares includes a chancery, US Marines security guard residence, a parking structure and utilities.
In addition, US officials stressed the new facility was a strong symbol of the US government’s commitment to working with Laos to strengthen the bilateral relationship in ways that would benefit both nations.
“Next month marks the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Laos and the United Stated. We hope this embassy will serve us well in coming years as we work towards new milestones,” US State Department Under Secretary for Management Mr Patrick F. Kennedy said.
“US contributes nearly US$45 million annually in bilateral assistance to Laos for health and education in order to facilitate economic development, environmental protection and more. We look forward to working with Lao counterparts to expand the cooperation over the coming years,” US Ambassador to Laos Mr Daniel A. Clune, mentioned.
The former downtown embassy site near Thatdam stupa will be renovated and continue to support the new embassy. The renovations, scheduled for completion in late 2015, will include a new American centre which will be open to the public. For the two and a half year construction project more than 900 local craftspeople, labourers, office staff and security personnel were employed. The project also incorporates numerous sustainable features to conserve resources and reduce operating costs, including energy-efficient appliances. All wastewater generated on-site is treated and used for site irrigation.
First ground was officially broken at the site of a new US Embassy Compound in Vientiane on May 18 in 2012.
The new embassy, located in Somvangtay village, Hatxaifong district, replaced the US Embassy located in downtown Vientiane. The old compound dates back to the 1960s.
For more information, please visit the US Embassy’s offical website at laos.usembassy.gov/index.html or their Facebook page
Source: Vientiane Times