Meridian diplomacy forum talks Mekong-US cooperation

(VOVWORLD) - Cooperation between the Mekong region and the US was the theme of the annual diplomacy forum held by the Meridian International Centre in Washington DC on Thursday. 
Meridian diplomacy forum talks Mekong-US cooperation - ảnh 1Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Ha Kim Ngoc (first, left) and other delegates at the forum (Photo: VNA) 

Delegates at the forum included representatives from the US administration, the Congress, international research organisations and US businesses, along with the Ambassadors and Charge d’affaires of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

Speakers at the event focused their attention on political, economic and cultural connections between the US and mainland Southeast Asia. Vietnamese Ambassador Ha Kim Ngoc, US Assistant Secretary of Defence Randall Shriver and former Ambassador to ASEAN Piper Campbell exchanged views on the enhancement of relations between the countries along the Mekong River and the US.  Ngoc affirmed the strategic significance of the Mekong region, saying Mekong countries and the US share many benefits brought about by cooperation in the Mekong region. The diplomat suggested the two sides take a comprehensive and flexible approach to cooperation in order to make full use of their strengths and address regional challenges. Ngoc also proposed carrying forward  existing measures like the Lower Mekong Initiative, promoting coordination between partners in and outside the region, and engaging financial institutions and private businesses in cooperation and investment projects in the Mekong region.

As the ASEAN Chair in 2020, Vietnam will work to intensify cooperation in the Mekong region, optimise existing connections between Mekong and partner countries, including the US, and integrate them into the implementation of the greater plans of the Mekong and ASEAN regions as well as UN Sustainable Development Goals, he said.

On the sidelines of the event, the Vietnamese Embassy displayed Vietnamese handicrafts, as well as cultural and tourism publications.