Partnerships deepen in Laos

Deepening diplomatic and defence partnerships was the focus of the Indo-Pacific Endeavour (IPE) 2023 visit to Laos last week.

CAPTIONAustralian and Laos VIP representatives cut the ribbons to officially open the joint Australia-Laos Molecular Malaria Laboratory in Ventiane, Laos during Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2023. Story by Flight Lieutenant Nick O’Connor. Photos by Leading Aircraftwoman Annika Smit.

The Laos program kicked off with the arrival of C-130J Hercules delivering a load of humanitarian aid to build capacity for future disaster response.

Other engagement activities included international humanitarian law and gender, peace and security seminars; English teacher training; and the establishment of a malaria research laboratory.

Director Operational Health Brigadier Isaac Seidl said the Indo Pacific Endeavour engagement activities further strengthened the longstanding relationship with Laos.

“Our two countries share more than 23 years of defence cooperation,” Brigadier Seidl said.

“Australia has deepened its defence engagement with Laos in recent years, including appointing a resident defence attaché, signing a Secretary-level memorandum of understanding, including Laos in IPE programs and holding inaugural defence senior officials’ talks.

“We are committed to working with Laos in support of a stable, peaceful, prosperous region.

“Our defence relationship with Laos is based on our interest in enhancing regional stability by supporting Laos’s positive participation in regional security architecture.”

CAPTIONVIPs from the Australian Defence Force and Lao People’s Armed Forces meet for a courtesy call in Loas, as part of Exercise Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2023.

Brigadier Seidl commended the Indo-Pacific Endeavour Australian contingent, who worked collaboratively with their Laos counterparts during the four-day engagement.

“It’s been a busy few days. I pay tribute to the professionalism of the members of the ADF who delivered key engagement activities here in Laos,” he said.

“I would also like to acknowledge to spirit of co-operation from our Laos friends who actively participated in the workshops and seminars- indeed the learnings were two-way.”

Conducted since 2017, Indo-Pacific Endeavour directly supports the Government’s commitment in the Defence Strategic Review 2023 to invest in our regional partnerships, and work with our partners to contribute to the collective security of the Indo-Pacific.

CAPTIONA delivery of humanitarian relief supplies from the Australian Department of Defence is given to the Lao People’s Armed Forces at the Wattay International Airport in Laos as part of Exercise Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2023.


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