Senior delegations representing the United States and Thailand met on May 9 and 10 for the first joint U.S.-Thailand Strategic and Defense Dialogue. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel J. Kritenbrink and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Ely Ratner led the U.S. delegation while Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Thani Thongphakdi and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defense General Warakiat Rattananont led the Thai delegation.
The Strategic Dialogue and the Defense Strategic Talks have long been integral parts of the enduring U.S.-Thai alliance, and this marked the first year that the participants have integrated these dialogues into a single two-day event. This year’s Dialogue addressed a wide range of issues of mutual interest, including regional security, post-COVID-19 economic recovery and prosperity, health cooperation, democracy and respect for human rights, and efforts to combat the climate crisis. Faced with regional and global challenges, the United States and Thailand reaffirmed our longstanding treaty alliance and partnership as a vehicle to jointly tackle shared challenges and achieve mutual goals.
Over the course of two days of meetings at the State Department and Pentagon, the two governments held candid conversations and explored new opportunities for cooperation, including cybersecurity and space. We committed to deepening our economic relationship, particularly as Thailand progresses with its 2022 APEC host year and the United States prepares for its 2023 host year, and strengthening engagement across the region, including with ASEAN-U.S. and Mekong-U.S. Partnership initiatives.
The two sides recommitted to working together to uphold shared principles, protect human rights, and combat human trafficking. We also discussed critical steps to address the growing humanitarian crisis in Burma.
In the year ahead, we look forward to capitalizing on increased person-to-person engagement, both at senior levels and between the Thai and American people, in order to reenergize our partnership and deepen our 190-year bilateral relationship.