Laos' Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad asserts that Lao authorities will provide the United States full cooperation in the search for the remains of American soldiers missing in action during the Vietnam War.
Mr. Somsavat made the assertion during the welcoming ceremony for Mrs. Ann Mills Griffiths, Executive Director of the National League of POW/MIA Families, who led a delegation on a six-day visit to Laos recently. The Lao Deputy Minister said his government will continue its humanitarian and constant policy of fully cooperating with the U.S. government in the search for the remains of American soldiers missing in action in Laos during the Indochina War.
For her part, Mrs. Griffiths expressed her appreciation on behalf of the US government and the families of POW/MIAs to the Lao government for its cooperation and highly praised the results of both nations' joint efforts in this area, which have so far recovered the remains of 229 missing American servicemen out of the known 572 cases.
At this occasion, Mr. Somsavat also said that Laos-US relations have steadily and comprehensively expanded, the latest cases of bilateral cooperation being the assistance the United States has given Laos to help it prepare for entry into the World Trade Organization, and its continuing assistance in UXO clearance in Laos. Since 1998, the U.S. has given Laos more than 25 million dollars in UXO clearance.
Songrit Pongern reported in Lao from Bankok on April 3, 2009. (English summary by Dara Baccam).