Senior delegations representing the United States and Thailand met on July 14, 2017, in Washington, D.C., at the Department of State for the sixth U.S.-Thailand Strategic Dialogue. Acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Susan Thornton led the U.S. delegation and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Busaya Mathelin led the Thailand delegation.
The Strategic Dialogue is an integral part of the enduring U.S.-Thailand relationship, which has spanned nearly two centuries, and covers the full range of political, security, and economic cooperation. The Dialogue addressed a wide variety of issues of mutual interest, including shared concerns with the security threat posed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and collaborative efforts to counter terrorism. Both sides reaffirmed the principles expressed in the 2016 Sunnylands Declaration, as well as the importance of a cooperative approach to ensuring a peaceful and stable South China Sea, freedoms of navigation and overflight, and claimants exercising self-restraint in the conduct of activities that could complicate or escalate disputes.
The United States and Thailand discussed their enduring alliance and explored ways to deepen collaboration in areas like regional security, cyber policy, counterterrorism, and commerce and investment, including through regional fora like ASEAN and the Lower Mekong Initiative. Both sides reaffirmed their desire to strengthen cooperation under the ASEAN-U.S. Strategic Partnership. Thailand and the United States underscored the importance of free and fair trade practices and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms. The United States welcomed Thailand’s intention to hold elections in 2018 and return to elected government.
The two sides discussed preparations for the visit of the Prime Minister of Thailand to Washington at a mutually convenient date and reaffirmed the importance of regular high-level consultations. The United States welcomed Thailand’s invitation to host the next Strategic Dialogue in Bangkok in 2018.