PUBLISHED : 12 Feb 2024 at 05:29
The Myanmar crisis, security partnership and regional connectivity via the government’s Land Bridge project are among the top items which the Foreign Affairs Minister will discuss with his US counterpart on Monday.
Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara left Bangkok on Saturday for an official visit to the United States that will last until Monday, said Vice Foreign Affairs Minister Sihasak Phuangketkeow. Mr Parnpree is visiting the US at the invitation of Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, he said.
Mr Parnpree will meet Mr Blinken on Monday and other key US figures, including Senators Chris Van Hollen and Tammy Duckworth, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and Senior Advisor for Energy and Investment Amos Hochstein.
Mr Sihasak said the aim of the visit is to strengthen the Thai-US strategic partnership, with many issues to be discussed.
Among them is the security partnership, he said, highlighting this year’s Cobra Gold military training as the largest military drill which Thailand and the US have held in the past several years.
The Myanmar crisis will also be discussed, Mr Sihasak said, noting the US has shown interest in Thailand’s role in addressing the issue, especially by increasing humanitarian assistance along the Thailand-Myanmar border.
“The US is interested in our approach and how we are going to proceed,” he said.
Another matter to be discussed is the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) framework signed by 14 countries, including Thailand, in 2022, he said. IPEF covers trade, supply chains, clean energy, infrastructure, tax and anti-corruption, he added.
He said the US is also interested in the Land Bridge project’s development. He said the US would play a supporting role to advance regional connectivity.
The proposed Land Bridge involves connecting the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand by road and rail, with transit hubs in Ranong and Chumphon provinces.
“The US relationship is often viewed as having a heavy emphasis on security and politics, but recently the US has shifted to work on the economy in the region,” he said.
“Many countries in the region would like the US to engage with them economically because it will bring mutual benefits.”