The First Meeting of the Asean-Russia Eminent Persons Group (AREPG) is taking place in Vientiane to review and further enhance relations between Asean and Russia.
The two-day meeting is hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is co-chaired by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Head of Asean Senior Officials Meeting for Laos, Mr Alounkeo Kittikhoun, and the Ambassador at Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the Russian Federation and former Russian Ambassador to Indonesia, Mr Alexander Ivanov.
Present at the meeting are eminent persons from Asean member countries, the Asean Secretariat, and Russia.
According to a press release from the ministry, the AREPG was established and adopted at an Asean-Russia Ministerial Meeting held in August 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Its aim is to review Asean-Russia relations over the past 20 years, explore ways to widen and deepen the existing cooperation between Asean and Russia, and to make recommendations on the future direction of Asean-Russia cooperation.
AREPG will announce the commendations in the form of a report to the Asean-Russia Commemorative Summit in 2016.
As chair of Asean for 2016, Laos co-chaired with Russia to organise the summit on behalf of the coordinating countries for Asean-Russia relations.