Statement by NSC Spokesperson Ned Price on the Visit of Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes to Laos and Burma
Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes will travel to Laos October 16-18 and to Burma October 18-20. In Laos, Mr. Rhodes will meet with senior government officials in Vientiane, where he will mark the 60th anniversary of U.S.-Lao diplomatic relations, discuss growing U.S.-Lao cooperation, and address how to further strengthen bilateral relations, particularly in advance of Laos's assuming the important position of Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2016. In Vientiane and Luang Prabang, Mr. Rhodes will also have the opportunity to meet with young Lao citizens and visit programs supported by U.S. assistance. In Burma, Mr. Rhodes will visit both Rangoon and Naypyitaw, where he will meet with senior officials, civil society representatives, and ethnic and religious leaders. He will affirm U.S. support for reforms that respect rights and advance opportunities for all of the country's people, and discuss preparations for and U.S. expectations of the upcoming November 8 elections.