Thailand, US agree to deepen partnership

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Thailand and United States have agreed to chart the way for a deeper bilateral strategic partnership and enhanced regional cooperation as Bangkok welcomed Washington’s policy of forging a stronger partnership with the Asia-Pacific region.

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Sunday welcomed the US President Barack Obama at Government House and held bilateral talks on a wide range of issues.

Both leaders later held a joint press conference in which Mr Obama reaffirmed the enduring US support for democracy in Thailand and welcomed the Thai government’s commitment to strengthening Thailand’s parliamentary democracy.

He emphasised that Thailand is America’s oldest treaty ally in Asia. The two leaders agreed that their alliance is rooted in a shared commitment to democracy, the rule of law, respect for both universal human rights and open societies, and a free market, which has bonded the people of the two nations closely together.

Thailand and the US will mark the anniversary of their 180 years of diplomatic relations in 2013.

The two leaders welcomed their continuing high-level and multidimensional dialogue, including the Fourth United States-Thailand Strategic Dialogue in June 2012, considered as the critical framework for shaping the agenda for United States-Thai relations.

Ms Yingluck welcomed the American’ policy of forging a stronger partnership with the Asia-Pacific region and US support for ASEAN centrality in regional development and integration, especially through Washington’s engagement in the ASEAN-US Summit and the East Asia Summit (EAS).

Mr Obama noted the growing importance of the EAS as an important regional forum for Asia-Pacific leaders to discuss political and strategic issues.

The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to working together to promote practical regional cooperation, including using other regional multilateral organisations such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

The US President welcomed Thailand’s interest in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, which is subject to Thailand’s undertaking the necessary domestic procedures.

The two leaders looked forward to reconvening the TIFA Joint Council as an important step to strengthening our trade ties and consulting on the requirements for Thailand’s eventual participation in high-standard agreements, including the TPP. (MCOT online news)

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