WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the Subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific, released the following statement Tuesday after President Obama announced that the United States will dedicate $90 million over the next three years to address unexploded ordinance (UXO) in Laos:
“Laos was the most heavily bombed nation in history due to U.S. activity during the Vietnam War, and since then unexploded ordnance have killed or injured more than 20,000 people. Like President Obama, I believe our nation has a moral obligation to provide this assistance to Laos, and I welcome his announcement during his trip as the first sitting president to visit the country.
“Assisting the people of Laos to identify, map and clear UXO, and deal with the consequences for those who have been injured, is critical for economic development and growth, to address the legacies of war, and to move our two nations and our two peoples forward to develop a productive, deep and genuine partnership in the years ahead.”