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U.S. - Thailand Relations Longstanding And Strong


On May 7, after months of anti-government demonstrations in Bangkok, Thailand’s Constitutional Court, in a controversial decision, removed Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra (pictured here) and nine ministers from office.

The United States is hopeful that the Thai people will be able to work out a peaceful solution to the political crisis affecting their country.

The United States is hopeful that the Thai people will be able to work out a peaceful solution to the political crisis affecting their country, and that Thailand will remain the steadfast force for stability in Southeast Asia and the true partner of the United States that it has been for decades.

On May 7, after months of anti-government demonstrations in Bangkok, Thailand’s Constitutional Court, in a controversial decision, removed Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and nine ministers from office. Since then, anti and pro-government demonstrations have continued in the capital. State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki has urged all sides “to resolve Thailand's political tensions in a peaceful and democratic manner so that the Thai people can choose the political leadership they deserve. In keeping with Thailand's democratic ideals,” she said, “a resolution should include elections and an elected government."

In a panel discussion at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, Scot Marciel, U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asia and the Pacific, said the United States cares deeply about Thailand’s political stability and democracy. He noted that the relationship between the two countries dates back to the Treaty of Amity and Commerce signed by U.S. President Andrew Jackson in 1833.

On a multitude of issues, including trade, security, law enforcement cooperation and health research, the two countries have worked together productively. “A lot of [what] we’re doing with Thailand,” said Mr. Marciel, “is not about bilateral issues per se, but how we work together to deal with problems, challenges and opportunities in the broader region. So that makes Thailand one of a very small number of countries, certainly in Asia, where we have that kind of relationship where we’re truly partners.”

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Marciel noted that the strong relationship between the two countries does not mean agreement on every issue. But he said, “We always can count on…good ideas and a constructive approach. And so, as we look at the current political situation in Thailand, the Thai, of course, will work this out themselves. But it’s something where we wish them great success. Their success is important to the region, and it’s very important to us.”
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