Laos prime minister cuts short Manila visit


Posted at Nov 14 2017 02:56 PM | Updated as of Nov 14 2017 05:15 PM

Laos Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith greets well-wishers upon his arrival to attend the ASEAN Summit and related meetings in Clark, Pampanga, Sunday. Erik De Castro

MANILA - Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith has left the Philippines, cutting short his participation in a summit of world leaders in the capital, Malacañang confirmed Tuesday. 

Sisoulith visited the Philippines for the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit. He is the first ASEAN leader to bid goodbye to the regional meeting. 

"The Prime Minister of Laos, we have been informed, has a state visitor in Vientiane. This is the reason why he has to leave the Philippines early," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement. 

Chinese President Xi Jinping is in the Lao capital Vientiane on Monday afternoon for a state visit as the 2 socialist countries are seeking to consolidate their traditional friendship. 

In a speech delivered upon his arrival at the airport on Monday afternoon, Xi noted that both China and Laos are socialist countries under the leadership of the Communist Party, and they are truly "good neighbors, friends, comrades and partners."

The Chinese president said that he believes with concerted efforts of both sides, his visit will lift the bilateral relationship to a new high. 

Prior to his visit to Laos, Xi attended the 25th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting in Vietnam's central city of Da Nang on Nov 10-11, and paid a state visit to the country in Hanoi on Sunday. 

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang meanwhile has represented Beijing in the 31st ASEAN Summit. With Reuters