BANGKOK (NNT) – The Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, today welcomed the United States Secretary of Defense and signed a joint vision statement by the two countries.
Lt. Gen. Khongcheep Tantaravanich, Defense Ministry Spokesman, announced today that Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister and Defense Minister, had welcomed Mr. Mark Esper, the United States Secretary of Defense, on the occasion of his visit to Thailand to attend the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus).
Both parties have expressed appreciation of and stressed the close relationship between Thailand and the United States as an old ally. Gen Prayut confirmed that Thailand and the United States have a long and stable relationship developed from military cooperation, economics and trade. The military cooperation between the two countries, especially education and Cobra Gold training, play an important role in strengthening the armed forces’ potential and capacity in joint operations that benefit the armed forces of both countries, the public and the overall region.
Mr. Mark Esper praised Thailand’s ASEAN Chairmanship and excellent hosting of the ADMM Retreat and the ADMM-Plus. He also thanked Thais for co-hosting the ASEAN-U.S. Maritime Exercise for the first time and for co-chairing the next EWG on Maritime Security. The United States adheres to supporting ASEAN and the role of Thailand in driving cooperation to strengthen stability and security in the region.
After that, they signed the Thailand-US Joint Vision Statement 2020 on the National Defense Alliance, emphasizing the importance of their long-standing national defense alliance, a partnership enhancing sustainable security cooperation which includes training and education, joint operational capacity, building and modernizing security and military agencies while growing stronger together. The signing of the joint vision statement reflects the upgrading of the alliance and strategic partnership between the two countries.
Lt. Gen. Khongcheep added that the signing of the joint vision statement between the Ministries of Defense of Thailand and the United States will benefit the development of a close military relationship as part of relationships in other areas including diplomacy, economy and culture.
The Pattaya News notes this comes the same weekend as Thailand also pledged closer ties with China.
Source: National News Bureau of Thailand