Ahead of the 14th India-Asean Summit and the 11th East Asia Summit here on Thursday, Laos Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith said that his country supports a permanent seat for India in the UN Security Council (UNSC).
"Laos PM said his country supported India as a permanent member of a reformed and expanded UNSC," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup informed the media after a bilateral meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sisoulith on Thursday morning.
Stating that the two leaders discussed regional developments, Swarup said that "both countries shared the same perspective" on the South China Sea issue.
An international arbitration tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in July ruled in favour of the Philippines in its dispute with China over the South China Sea.
While the Philippines welcomed the ruling, China reacted angrily calling it "null and void".
Several southeast Asian littoral nations have disputes with Beijing over the South China Sea.
India has called for all parties concerned to respect the UN Convention for the Law of the Sea (Unclos).
According to Swarup, during the meeting, Sisoulith appreciated India’s consistent support for Laos since the country’s independence "particularly in areas of human resources development, agriculture, irrigation and power".
Modi said that he was especially happy to be in Vientiane at a time when India and Laos were celebrating the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
"Both Prime Ministers agreed to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in a befitting manner," Swarup stated.
Modi is also scheduled to have meetings with South Korean President Park Geun-hye, Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who is the State Counsellor and Foreign Minister of Myanmar, and US President Barack Obama later in the day.
Soon after his arrival here on Wednesday, Modi held a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The India-Asean Summit on Thursday will be attended by leaders of 10 southeast Asian nations – Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand.
The East Asia Summit later in the day will be attended by leaders of the 10 Asean nations and those of India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the US and Russia.