Granting an interview to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA)'s correspondents in Laos on the occasion of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)’s 55th founding anniversary (August 8), Saleumasay said that Vietnam joined ASEAN in 1995, and two years later, Laos also became a member of the group.

Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumasay Kommasith

Since then, the two countries have become active members, making important contribution to the bloc's policy and vision making.

Regarding the building of the ASEAN Economic Community, he said that Vietnam is a major country and plays an important role in the region, and has relations with many countries, especially great powers, which is also its direct contribution to the ASEAN Economic Community’s important role in the region and the world as well.

Since their admission to ASEAN, Vietnam has assumed the role as ASEAN Chair thrice, while Laos will take on the position for the third time in 2024. During these times, both Laos and Vietnam have stressed the central leadership role of ASEAN.

The two countries’ initiatives have brought common interests to other ASEAN countries and have been considered important strides towards the building of a strong and united ASEAN community, he stated.

According to the Lao Deputy PM, ASEAN's greatest achievement to date has been peace and stability thanks to mutual understanding, which laid the foundation for peace and stability for the Asian-Pacific region as well as ASEAN.

He also stressed the need for ASEAN to continue maintaining its central role and consensus stance in solving challenges.

Source: VNA