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VEINTIANE, July 25. /TASS/. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) appreciates Russia’s support to the central role of this association and its mechanisms in the affairs of the Asia Pacific region, Foreign Minister of Laos, the current ASEAN chair, Saleumxai Kommasit said on Monday.
"The year 2016 has a special significance for ASEAN and Russia as we mark the 20th anniversary of our cooperation," he said at a meeting with Russia-ASEAN foreign ministers. "In May, we witnessed a successful summit in Sochi, where our leaders adopted the Sochi declaration and a plan of action for the next few years. But what is most important, we saw that Russia confirmed its support to the ASEAN role in the region, support to the mechanisms where ASEAN is playing the leading role."
The Laotian foreign minister noted that his country, as the ASEAN chair in 2016 and coordinator of the Russia-ASEAN dialogue, "is ready to work closely with other ASEAN countries and Russia to materialize the results of the Sochi summit in tangible results and bring the relations between Russia and ASEAN to the level of strategic cooperation in the immediate future."
Russia is represented at the ongoing ministerial meeting in the Laotian capital city Vientiane by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.