President Obama Arrives in Laos for Historic Visit

President Obama arrives in Laos, marking first visit by U.S. president

That issue is most likely to catch the world’s attention during Obama’s visit as he discusses the United States’ efforts to clean up unexploded ordnance that has littered Laos for five decades.

The United States has already spent $118 million cleaning up unexploded ordnance in Laos since 1992.

On Tuesday, the president will kick off his visit with a bilateral meeting with Bounnhang Vorachith, the President of Laos, to identify areas of cooperation, such as developing education and health infrastructure, and increasing the U.S.-Lao bilateral trade and investment relationship.

Obama called Duterte "a colorful guy" and signaled that the meeting could be called off if it's determined that a face-to-face gathering won't be productive.

"When and if we have a meeting this is something that will be brought up," the president guaranteed, telling reporters that he hopes the tensions can be dealt with constructively. Obama emphasized that he would surely address the necessity to approach the drug trafficking war in a "way that is consistent with international norms."

The president added that he instructed his staff to talk to their Filipino counterparts to gauge whether a bilateral meeting would be fruitful in Laos.

Obama’s visit to Vientiane follows a stop in Hangzhou, China, where he attended the G-20 summit of global economic powers. The president is scheduled to depart Laos on Thursday.

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