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US pledges to provide over $153 million in assistance to Mekong countries

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The Mekong river which flows through Cambodia before reaching open sea after Vietnam.

The financial assistance was announced by US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun at the 1st Mekong-US Partnership Ministerial Meeting earlier this week.

The money includes $55 million for transboundary crime combat and $1.8 million for the Mekong River Commission to strengthen water resource data sharing in support of policy making process, according to Stephen Biegun.

Over the last 10 years, U.S. agencies have offered more than $3.5 billion in assistance to the Mekong region that comprises Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

The participants to the meeting also officially announced the Mekong-US Partnership (MUSP) from a decade-long cooperation under the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI), which was initiated by the US in 2009.

The new partnership framework will lay foundation for promoting the potentials of the bilateral ties, thus making effective contributions to the sustainable development and prosperity in the future.

The participants highlighted the fine friendship and achievements in such cooperative areas like sustainable management of water resources, environmental protection, national disaster response, healthcare, education, and regional connectivity.

Regarding future cooperation orientations, the participants agreed that the Mekong countries and the US should work toward promoting peace, stability, and prosperity, supporting the implementation of the 2030 sustainable development goal and the 2025 ASEAN Community Vision.

The participants agreed that the MUSP should focus on four cooperation areas: (i) economic connectivity, (ii) sustainable management of water and natural resources and environmental protection, (iii) non-traditional security, (iv) and human resources development.

Addressing the meeting, Deputy PM, FM Minh affirmed Viet Nam’s commitment to fostering cooperation between the Mekong countries and the US, expressing his belief that the MUSP would further contribute to sustainable development and narrowing develop gap in the region. Quang Minh/ news.chinhphu.vn/

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