Senior officials from the U.S. Embassy in Vientiane and U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) met August 1-3 in Honolulu with senior officials from the Lao Ministry of National Defense (MND) for the 11th Lao-United States Bilateral Defense Dialogue.
Brigadier General Kenchanh Nangthalasy, Director of Foreign Relations Department (FRD), Ministry of National Defense (MND) and Brigadier General Mark Gillette, Deputy Director of USPACOM Directorate for Strategic Plans and Policy, led the meeting. Over thirty Lao and U.S. delegates participated in the event, including representatives from the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Defense Security Cooperation Agency in Washington D.C.
Ambassador Daniel Clune noted in his opening remarks the significant expansion of bilateral military cooperation in recent years, and the positive impact it is having on the overall U.S.-Lao relationship.
The Bilateral Defense Dialogue (BDD) is a forum for bilateral consultations between the Lao Ministry of National Defense and U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) to strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation, as well as develop defense cooperation programs that enhance relations between our security forces, encourage greater regional military cooperation, and promote the common interests of both countries.
Primary topics of the dialogue included military medical cooperation; civil-military operations, to include cooperation on humanitarian unexploded ordinance removal and disaster relief; training and education opportunities, to include English language training and professional military education; and Lao People’s Army participation in regional conferences, workshops, and senior level meetings.
The United States is proud to work with its partner Laos for the benefit of both nations and the Asia/Pacific region.