In-Person Summits Help U.S. and Thailand Advance Mutual Goals
Today, the United States will kick off a series of high-level meetings with Thailand and its fellow ASEAN countries to strengthen our partnerships in the region and underscore the critical role ASEAN plays in creating a peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.
Senior officials from the United States and Thailand will meet in Washington, D.C. 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 Kritenbrink and Assistant Secretary of Defense Ely Ratner will lead 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 will lead the Thai delegation.
The Strategic Dialogue and the Defense Strategic Dialogue have long been integral parts of the enduring U.S.-Thai relationship, and this year’s event will mark the first ever joint dialogue, as well as the first in-person dialogue since the start of the global pandemic. This year’s Dialogue will address the full range of the close and cooperative relationship between the United States and Thailand. In addition to our broad and deep cooperation across a wide range of global challenges, including post-COVID-19 economic recovery and prosperity, health and law enforcement cooperation, and efforts to combat the climate crisis, we will also discuss our robust economic relationship, as the United States is Thailand’s largest export market and one of Thailand’s largest sources of foreign investment. Faced with regional and global challenges, the United States and Thailand will reaffirm our long-standing treaty alliance and partnership as a vehicle to jointly tackle shared challenges and achieve mutual goals.
The U.S.-Thailand Strategic and Defense Dialogue will be followed by the U.S.-ASEAN Special Summit. President Biden will host ASEAN leaders in Washington, D.C. on May 12 and 13. This in-person Summit will underscore the Biden administration’s enduring commitment to ASEAN and the central role that ASEAN plays in delivering sustainable solutions to the region’s most pressing challenges.
The Special Summit will build on President Biden’s virtual participation in the October 2021 U.S.-ASEAN Summit, where the President announced $102 million in new initiatives to expand our engagement with ASEAN on COVID-19 recovery and health security, fighting the climate crisis, stimulating broad-based economic growth, promoting gender equality, and deepening people-to-people ties.
It is a top priority for the Biden-Harris Administration to be a strong, reliable partner in Southeast Asia. In 2021, the United States announced the Indo-Pacific Strategy, which outlines President Biden’s foreign policy vision and commitment to sustained and creative collaboration with allies, partners, and institutions within and beyond the region.