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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   24 June 2013  

Cuba Reaffirms Strong Ties With, Laos

Cuban First Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez who completed a two-day visit here on Sunday reaffirmed his government's commitment in furthering the strong relationship and cooperation with Laos.

Bermudez, the first vice president of both the Council of Ministers and the Council of State, held a bilateral meeting with his Lao counterpart Vice President Bounnhang Vorachit in Laos' capital of Vientiane.

In the meeting, the two leaders exchanged ideas on regional and international issues of mutual interest, according to a Lao government press release.

Bermudez also met with Lao President Choummaly Sayasone to convey Cuban President Raul Castro's invitation to him to make an official visit to Cuba at a suitable time.

Vorachit and Bermudez both expressed a strong desire to beef up their countries' traditional relationship and close cooperation. Vorachit thanked Bermudez and the government of Cuba for their great assistance to Laos in the past, and their present assistance in national defense and development.

The Communist Party of Cuba was an important supporter of the Lao Communist Party during the Lao Civil War.

More recently, Cuba has cooperated in helping Laos to develop its agriculture, human resources, sports and health sectors. Last year, the Cuban government donated nearly 200 tonnes of sugar to Laos to help malnourished youth in the country's rural areas.

The Lao Foreign Ministry described Bermudez's visit as "one of the important events in Laos-Cuba relations" that has developed traditionally friendly relations to "a new height" for the mutual benefit of both.

Bermudez expressed his pleasure for having the opportunity to visit Laos, one of South East Asia's least developed nations, to see the ongoing development of the country and the people of Laos.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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