Thailand and U.S. sign Vision Statement 2020

Thailand and the United States reaffirmed nearly two centuries as treaty partners by signing the Joint Vision Statement 2020 during a visit to Bangkok by U.S. Army Chief of Staff General James McConville. Both countries agreed to strengthen military and economic ties.

“Our alliance has a long and productive history, and now we are taking on 21st-century challenges together,” Gen. McConville said.

McConville met with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Royal Thai Army Chief Gen. Apirat Kongsompong during his brief time in the Kingdom. Gen. Apirat and McConville co-signed the Vision Statement.

The Vision Statement lays out the objectives and perspectives of both nations for moving their military alliance forward. Thailand is the oldest treaty partner of the United States in Asia, having signed the Treaty of Amity and Commerce in 1833. The two countries formalized their military partnership over 65 years ago.

On this trip, however, the Covid-19 pandemic was foremost on the minds of both the American and Thai delegations. McConville toured the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences (AFRIMS), a joint U.S.-Thai infectious disease center. AFRIMS has been on the cutting edge of pandemic research for decades, tackling diseases such as malaria and dengue fever.

Prime Minister Prayut used the occasion to thank the United States for working with the Thai authorities to help Thai citizens in America return home, and for sharing information and equipment to help Thailand battle the Covid-19 pandemic. He also expressed condolences for the many lives lost to the disease in the United States.

“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 of our training scenarios will be done with the utmost care with regards to the pandemic,” Gen. McConville said.

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