Vientiane: External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj interacted with the Indian diaspora here on Thursday on the sidelines of her two-day visit to the nation during which she is slated to co-chair the 9th Meeting of India-Lao PDR Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation with her Laos counterpart.
“Highlighting the civilizational and cultural linkages. EAM @SushmaSwaraj addressing the Indian community in #LaoPDR. Appreciated the role of the community in acting as a bridge to strengthen India – Lao PDR relations,” the Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
The function started off with the rendition of Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite bhajan ‘Vaishnav Jan To’, sung by Laotian singer Phonesavanh Lathavong ‘Namfone’.
Keeping with her tradition of interacting with the Indian diaspora regardless of which nation she visits, Swaraj highlighted the strong relations between the ASEAN nation and India. She also underscored the Indian government’s work both domestically and internationally, while mentioning the MEA’s directive to Indian Embassies to look after the safety and security of expatriate Indians.
Swaraj also reiterated her decision to not run for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, citing medical reasons which implore her to stay away from dust. However, she reinforced that she was not stepping down from politics.
The EAM is in Lao PDR from November 22 to 23 to co-chair the joint commission with Laos’ Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumxay Kommasith.
Both the sides will review a wide range of areas of bilateral cooperation, including Defence, Development Partnership, Agriculture, Trade & Investment, Education & Culture, Science & IT, Energy & Mining, Transport, and Natural Resources & Environment, according to the MEA.