U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will skip Burma but she will visit Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam as part of an eight-nation tour, which started on Thursday.
She will arrive in Hanoi on July 10, after stops in Japan and Mongolia, where she will meet with senior Vietnamese leaders and witness the signing of several agreements covering education exchanges and commercial contracts and meet with representatives of the U.S. and Vietnamese business communities.
On July 11, she will arrive in Vientiane, the first visit by a U.S. secretary of state in 57 years. She will meet with Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong and other senior government officials to discuss a variety of bilateral and regional issues, including the Lower Mekong Initiative and Asean integration efforts.
Diplomatic relations were never severed between the United States and Laos, but U.S. involvement in the Laotian civil war and other incidents had strained bilateral ties over the years. Accounting for Americans missing in Laos from the Vietnam War has been a special focus of the relationship.
Later, on the same day she will arrive in Phnom Penh to participate in regional conferences, to both chair and attend ministerial events and to participate in bilateral meetings with Cambodian officials. Regional conferences include the Asean Regional Forum, the East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers Meeting, and the U.S.-Asean Post-Ministerial Conference.
She will co-chair the Lower Mekong Initiative Ministerial as well as chair the Friends of the Lower Mekong Ministerial Meeting. Clinton will also participate in bilateral meetings with senior Cambodian leadership.
On July 13, she will travel to Siem Reap to lead a large delegation of U.S. business representatives to Cambodia for an Asean event at the “Commitment to Connectivity - U.S.-Asean Business Forum.” While in Siem Reap, Clinton will deliver the keynote address at the Lower Mekong Initiative Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Dialogue.
On July 14, she will travel to Egypt followed to express the United States’ support for Egypt’s democratic transition and economic development. From July 15-16, she will meet with senior government officials, civil society, and business leaders, and inaugurate the U.S. Consulate General in Alexandria.
This will be followed by a stop in Israel on July 16-17, where she will meet with the Israeli leadership to discuss peace efforts and a range of regional and bilateral issues of mutual concern.