US, Asean meet to discuss crisis

US, Asean meet to discuss crisis

Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai will attend a special videoconference meeting about Asean with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo tomorrow, according to a statement.

Don: Will be on video duty

According to a ministry press release, the meeting, to be co-chaired by the Lao Foreign Affairs Minister and Mr Pompeo, will be held from 8am to 10am.

The meeting is aimed at confirming common intentions to boost bilateral cooperation in dealing with Covid-19, it said.

The US and Asean during the meeting will focus on exchanging information and guidelines; increasing public health emergency preparedness and responses; providing help to people in the region and the US; and protecting regional supply chains, particularly the logistics and delivery of essential items, food, medicine and equipment, the statement said.

Both sides will also discuss cooperation to alleviate the socio-economic impact of the Covid-19 crisis, as well as guidelines for economic recovery after the crisis, it added.

The statement said the US has been a key strategic partner of Asean, and it has cooperated in all areas, including public health.

The meeting will be an important opportunity for the two sides to work together to address the Covid-19 crisis which has dealt a blow to the people, the economy, and security of Asean and the US, it added.

After the meeting, Laos and the US will issue a co-chairs' statement affirming the common intent of Asean and the US to deal with Covid-19 and other public health emergencies in the future, the statement said.

Meanwhile, analyst Prawase Wasi proposed that a database be set up for the compilation of information regarding Covid-19 and its impacts to support disease control in high-risk areas.

Dr Prawase added businesses in low-risk areas should be allowed to reopen to alleviate the economic impact of the novel coronavirus.

In an interview with Isra News Agency, Dr Prawase noted that independent groups comprised of epidemiologists, economic experts and businessmen should be formed to help control the disease and rehabilitate the economy.

He said the groups should work together and also help Asean member states, he said, adding it will have a spill-over effect on countries in the region.

Dr Prawase said business leaders could help in reducing poverty amid the Covid-19 global outbreak.

The kingdom has recorded 2,811 novel coronavirus cases.

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