Thailand and U.S. sign Vision Statement on defense, security

Thailand and the U.S. mapped out the future of their longstanding alliance last week as Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper signed the Thai-U.S. Joint Vision Statement 2020, a comprehensive agreement on defense and security cooperation.

Thailand is the oldest treaty partner of the U.S. in Asia. The Vision Statement reaffirmed the importance of the alliance for the 21st century and noted that defense ties complement all elements of their much broader relationship, including strong diplomatic, economic, and cultural ties.

Partnerships are committed to be strengthened to achieve greater peace in the region and beyond.

Secretary Esper said that the Agreement strengthens “our mutual commitment to the U.S.-Thai Alliance, and to a future of even deeper cooperation. In Joint Vision 2020, we chart a course for increased interoperability, force modernization, information sharing, and expanded exercises and training. This vision demonstrates our determination as an alliance to be more active together in the region to advance our mutual security interests.”

Prime Minister Chan-o-cha received Secretary Esper at the Government House in Bangkok ahead of the 6th ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Retreat. Ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) also regularly meet with dialogue partners, among them the U.S.

“The 2020 Joint Vision Statement represents an ongoing effort to update and focus the alliance in line with the priorities and areas of focus for both sides in the contemporary context, in the wake of developments such as the shaping of the U.S. Indo-Pacific vision,” the Diplomat website wrote.

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