Monday, August 10, 2020

Thai-US army commanders sign pact to jointly fight challenges

Jul 10. 2020
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By The Nation

US army chief General James C McConville arrived in Thailand on Thursday (July 9) for a two-day visit for a meeting with Thai Army commander General Apirat Kongsompong.

He was also joined by US Ambassador Michal George DeSombre for a meeting with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to discuss the strategic partnership between the two nations. 

McConville and Apirat also signed the Strategic Vision Statement on Friday(July 10), which aims to enhance bilateral army to army ties and outlines objectives to deepen the 65-year-old US-Thai military alliance. The two commanders discussed modernisation, interoperability, joint training and doctrine. 

“Our alliance has a long and productive history, and now we are taking on 21st century challenges together,” said General McConville. “Our two nations typically have hundreds of military trainings and events each year, and we are working in unison with the Royal Thai Government to ensure that all our training scenarios will be done with the utmost care with regards to the pandemic,” the general continued.

McConville also visited the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences (AFRIMS), a joint US-Thai infectious disease centre that has been at the cutting edge of pandemic research for decades. 

The signing of the statement follows on the heels of a Joint Vision Statement signed between US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who is also defence minister, during the Asean summit in November last year. 

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