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SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, good morning, everyone.  It’s a real pleasure to have the foreign minister of Thailand here today.  Don and I have known each other for many years now.


SECRETARY BLINKEN:  We’ve worked together when I was last in government, and it’s been a real particular pleasure to be able to work so closely together again.  I think you were one of the first people I talked to when I was first in this job.  We just spent time together with our ASEAN colleagues in New York, but it’s particularly important for us to be able to spend time together here in Washington.  I’m grateful that you were able to make the trip.

We have a strong alliance with Thailand that is grounded, of course, in a shared history but also, critically, a shared future.  And we are united by many common interests and values.  I think the work that we’re doing together bilaterally but also regionally as well as through ASEAN could not be more important.  We’ve been collaborating closely on everything from COVID to climate to regional security and stability.  We will have the APEC leadership of Thailand next year.  We look very much forward to working closely with Thailand on that.

And so there’s a lot to cover, and Don, thank you for being here today.

FOREIGN MINISTER PRAMUDWINAI:  Thank you very much.  Good morning to all members of the press.  I’m very delighted to come here to meet with Secretary Antony Blinken once again.  After – the very first call he did make after confirmation, it was Thailand who was – who had such an honor, and now I am very, very glad to come to the State Department here, where I used to work as a counterpart when I was in the – at the embassy.

So today, not only that we’ve had bilateral meetings, reinforcing our relations of almost 200 years – in fact, we are the first Asian allies of the U.S. 200 years ago.  So this is a time to even strengthen even more this meeting or these relations.  We’re really looking forward to working very closely with the United States of America just like we have done all the years past.

I thank you very much for being with us and giving us all the support by being in attendance at this press – small press conference.  I thank you very much.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you so much.  Thanks, Don, very much.  Thank you all.

U.S. Department of State

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