DEPUTY Prime Minister-cum-Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai and visiting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken today (July 10) signed two important agreements that further strengthen already good relations between the two countries, Matichon newspaper said.
The two agreements they signed are Communiqué on Strategic Alliance and Partnership and Memorandum of Understanding on Promoting Supply Chain Resilience.
Don said Thailand and the US will celebrate 190 years of diplomatic relations next year with the agreements signed today clearly testifying to the close alliance and long-standing relationship between the two countries. This also lays the foundation for cooperation for another 190 years.
The Communiqué on Strategic Alliance and Partnership focuses on setting goals based on shared values and interests.
Meanwhile the Memorandum of Understanding on Promoting Supply Chain Resilience ensures a flexible and diversified supply chain with collaboration in critical fields such as new technological innovations.
Thailand is also working closely on addressing the climate crisis and was the first country to join the Clean Energy Demand Initiative which connects various countries that want to expand the use of renewable energy with companies that can help them.
Seven companies have now signalled their interest in investing up to $2.7 billion in Thailand’s clean energy infrastructure and this is being followed up, he added.
Blinken’s visit comes a day after he met Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi in Indonesia on the sidelines of the G20 foreign minister’s meeting, according to a Reuters report published by Yahoo! News.
Blinken will also meet with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. China’s Wang has been engaged in intense diplomacy across Asia in recent weeks and met Prayut on Tuesday.
“We are taking the partnership between us fully into the 21st century,” Blinken said, adding that Thailand is an important ally “in a region that is shaping the trajectory of the century”.
Blinken last year postponed a trip to Thailand, the oldest US ally in Asia, after halting a regional tour when a Covid-19 case was found in the press corps accompanying him.
The Biden administration has sought to shore up ties with a region that had become uncertain about US commitment during a period of perceived neglect under President Joe Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump. At that time, China expanded its influence while pushing investment and trade integration.
Talks with Prayut will include the crisis in Myanmar and expanding cooperation, the State Department said.
Myanmar’s military has increased pressure against ethnic minority armies since a coup last year and is encountering resistance on multiple fronts, including militia groups allied with the ousted government.
Earlier on Sunday, Blinken met Myanmar youth leaders in Bangkok.
After Thailand, he will make a previously unscheduled stop in Tokyo to offer condolences to the Japanese people after the killing of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the State Department said.
Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the Foreign Ministry today, July 10, 2022. Photo: Matichon
Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai places a flower on the jacket of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken after the ceremony to sign the two agreements at the Foreign Ministry today, July 10, 2022. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Pool via Reuters and published by Yahoo! News