He made the comment during an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency following the teleconferenced 36th ASEAN Summit on June 26.

The official congratulated Vietnam on its successful organisation of the summit and highly valued the country’s leadership and organisation capacity.

At the event, he noted, ASEAN leaders discussed a number of issues, especially the prevention, management and response to the spread of COVID-19, focusing on how the countries can work with one another to deal with the pandemic’s impacts.

Lao Deputy Foreign Minister Thongphane Savanphet in an interview with the Vietnam News Agency

The leaders scrutinised ways to enhance the ASEAN Community’s cohesion in the face of emerging challenges in the region and the world. They agreed to push ahead with realising the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, particularly building the three pillars of politics – security, economy and society – culture, of which under Vietnam’s chairmanship, the bloc is making mid-term reviews after five years of implementation.

In response to some countries and regions’ intention to become dialogue and development partners of ASEAN, the leaders also paid attention to how to expand the bloc’s relations while still sustaining its solidarity and centrality.

During the summit, ASEAN leaders also touched upon regional and international issues of common concern, Thongphane Savanphet said, noting that although the time for these matters was short, the leaders discussed in a straightforward and efficient manner.

For the rest of this year, the Deputy Minister said his country expects Vietnam will continue augmenting the cohesion and strength of ASEAN, especially in implementing different priorities that Vietnam has prepared, including promoting and protecting regional peace and stability, stepping up the ASEAN Community building, and bolstering the bloc’s relations with partners.

Besides, boosting post-pandemic socio-economic recovery in the region is of critical importance as the spread of COVID-19 in many regional countries has slowed down, he noted, adding that this is an issue that Vietnam, as ASEAN Chair, should keep bringing into play its coordinating role in.

The Lao official expressed his belief that under Vietnam’s chairmanship, ASEAN will continue to successfully carry out the initiatives and agreements its members have put forth this year.

Covering the 36th ASEAN Summit, the Laophattana newspaper of the Lao Journalists Association reported that Prime Minister of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith spoke highly of the bloc’s successes in the past year.

He stressed the necessity to continue reinforcing cooperation so as to prevent a second outbreak of COVID-19 via information and experience sharing, medicine and vaccine development, and comprehensive socio-economic recovery, according to the paper.

Source: VNA