Vietnam drops objections to Laos dam on Mekong

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Associated Press

Posted on November 8, 2012 at 2:34 AM

Updated Thursday, Nov 8 at 2:37 AM

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Vietnam has apparently dropped its objections to a dam that Laos is constructing on the Mekong River, saying that the neighboring country has made changes in the design to mitigate any negative downstream impacts.

Laos officials reportedly said this week that construction of the Xaburi dam was going ahead.

Vietnam last year proposed a 10-year moratorium on any dams on the Mekong and has expressed concern that the dam would kill fish and affect livelihoods along its stretch of the river.

Foreign ministry spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi said Thursday that Laos had decided to build the dam "after adjusting the project design to mitigate the impact on the downstream."

The U.S. on Monday criticized the decision to go ahead with the dam, citing feared negative environmental impact downstream.

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