Press Availability at Government House

Press Availability
Daniel R. Russel
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Bangkok, Thailand
December 16, 2015

ASSISTANT SECRETARY RUSSEL: Thank you ladies and gentlemen. I am here to conduct the U.S.-Thai strategic dialogue and in the course of our meetings I, just now, had an extended in-depth and productive discussion with Prime Minister General Prayuth, of course accompanied by our outstanding ambassador to Thailand, Ambassador Glyn Davies.

We were in this meeting able to discuss the full range of U.S.-Thai relations both in terms of regional and global issues; the U.S. and Thailand cooperate on an important set of issues of tactical interest and concern to both countries.

We also were able to speak very candidly and very openly about our bilateral relations and the path ahead. I shared with the Prime Minister the strong view in the United States that the U.S.–Thai relationship is an important asset that we value, and we want to see unity, the prosperity, the stability of Thailand and the Thai people.

We respect and enjoy Thai culture, cherish our people-to-people ties, value our economic and trade relationship, and take seriously our cooperation and responsibility in security. I think it is a clear evidence of the strength of our longstanding relationship that the Prime Minister would find it possible to dedicate so much time to his conversation with myself and with Ambassador Davies.

I’m now moving back to resume the dialogue with Ambassador Apichart, my counterpart, the Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Ministry. We still have a lot of ground to cover and I look forward tomorrow to be able to meet other senior Thai officials as well as be able to experience some of the great culture in Thailand that keeps tourists from the United States and the world over coming back again and again.

So I’ll have a chance to report out after the conclusion of our strategic partnership discussion and be able to answer any questions. Thank you very much.