NDO/VNA – Lao senior officials and diplomats from ASEAN nations took part in a mini-marathon at Patuxay Park in Vientiane, Laos on August 12 as part of a series of local events to mark the 50th ASEAN anniversary and the 20th year since Laos became a member of the bloc. The annual mini-marathon was led by Lao Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumxay Kommasith with Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith in attendance. In his opening remarks to kick-start the event, Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith lauded the significance of ASEAN and its achievements over the last 50 years. “ASEAN looks forward with excitement to the next 50 years and beyond of working hand in hand among Member States and with all external partners for peace, stability and prosperity of the ASEAN Community and the world at large”, he stated. Laos, throughout the past two decades of being part of the ASEAN community, has made important contributions to the group and has benefited from the ASEAN Community building process and partnership with all ASEAN external partners, expressed the minister. The minister added that Laos will continue to play an integral part in further strengthening the ASEAN Community and its external relations.