Foreign Minister Surapong, in Washington DC, says USA a “Stabilizing Force”

In Washington DC, Thailand’s Foreign Minister, Surapong Tovichakchaikul and USA Secretary of State, John Kerry recently met. The two ministers also discussed a wide range of bilateral and regional issues. On regional issues, Mr Surapong welcomed Washington’s Strategic Rebalancing policy focusing on reengagement with Asia, particularly the importance the US has given to ASEAN centrality. He stressed that American engagement in ASEAN integration efforts can serve as a stabilising force in the region. The partnership will help address political-security challenges in the ASEAN region, including transnational crime, human trafficking, piracy, and disaster. The Thai foreign minister welcomed continued American support for reform in Myanmar and said he hoped that the US would lift all remaining sanctions on Myanmar.  Mr Surapong informed his counterpart that Thailand as current country coordinator for ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations is determined to work closely with all concerned to build trust and confidence among the relevant parties as well as to expand common ground, and to push forward implementation of the Declaration on Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea in tandem with the Code of Conduct process. Mr Surapong also highlighted Thailand’s active participation in the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism as well as its participation in the Proliferation Security Initiative (Source).

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