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Visit of Prime Minister Kriangsak of Thailand Joint Press Statement.

February 07, 1979

At the invitation of the President of the United States of America and Mrs. Carter, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand Kriangsak Chomanan and Madame Khunying Virat Chomanan are visiting the United States officially during the period February 4 to February 16, 1979. In addition to Washington, D.C., the Prime Minister and his party will also extend his official travel to New York City, Los Angeles and Honolulu.

The Prime Minister is accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Sunthorn Hongladarom, Foreign Minister Upadit Pachariyangkun, Minister of Interior General Lek Naeomali, Minister of Communications General Surakij Mayalarp, Minister Somporn Punyagupta, Minister of Industry Kasame Chatikavanij and other senior civilian and military officials of the Royal Thai Government. In Washington, the President and the Prime Minister met on February 6. Participants on the United States side included Vice President Mondale, Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, Secretary of Defense Harold Brown, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Zbigniew Brzezinski and others.

The President's invitation to the Prime Minister was extended last May by Vice President Mondale during his visit to Thailand and Southeast Asia.


The President welcomed the Prime Minister recognizing particularly the long and close relations 'between the U.S. and Thailand. The two countries have had diplomatic contact for nearly a century and a half and the fabric of U.S. and Thai relations has been particularly close for over 30 years.

The visit enabled the two leaders to discuss directly recent events in Asia and Southeast Asia and the efforts of the two governments to pursue regional peace and stability. The President was able to hear first-hand views from one of the leaders of ASEAN, a dynamic organization recognized internationally as dedicated to peace, stability and economic growth in Southeast Asia. ASEAN has the active support of the U.S. as well as Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the EEC and other nations.


The President reviewed the United States role as an Asian and Pacific power and noted recent developments, including the normalization of United States relations with China and the new agreement on U.S. bases in the Philippines, which contribute constructive]y to the future of the region.

The Prime Minister outlined his view of current developments in Indochina and the policies which the Thai Government is pursuing to support a peaceful system of independent states in the region, a goal which the United States shares. He welcomed U.S. relations with China as a positive contribution. Both the Prime Minister and the President agreed on the importance of an independent Cambodia to regional stability.

The President stated that the United States supports the integrity of Thailand both in terms of the historic US-Thai friendship as well as our interest in Thailand as a stable, secure and peaceful nation in Southeast Asia with an important role in regional peace and cohesion. He confirmed the continuing validity of U.S. commitments in the Manila Pact.

The Prime Minister stressed that Thailand's policies are based on self-reliance and independence. Foreign economic and military assistance are important, but must be complementary to Thailand's own policies and efforts.

Within the context of an ongoing military assistance program, the United States will expedite items of military equipment already ordered by Thailand and has increased military credits (FMS) for FY 1979. The U.S. will consider sympathetically new Thai requests. The President also stated Congressional authorization would be sought for the cost-free transfer to Thailand of $11.3 million of US-owned ammunition currently stored there.

The two leaders noted the success of Thailand's economic policies, its plan to continue rapid and equitable growth policies, and the dynamic aspects of the ASEAN region. The President was particularly impressed by the priority given to rural development during Thailand's 1979 "Year of the Farmer" and confirmed the continuing U.S. supplementary role in supporting the new Thai emphasis.

The Prime Minister welcomed the continuing economic interests of the United States and other nations in Thailand and ASEAN, particularly American investment and other business activities. He noted the favorable business climate offered by Thailand to foreign commerce and investment and discussed plans to improve the situation further. The President welcomed U.S. firms contributing to economic growth and trade with Thailand and hoped our business relations would expand as more American firms become aware of the opportunities in Thailand and the ASEAN region.

The Prime Minister of Thailand stressed the serious burdens in providing temporary shelter and care to Indochinese refugees. He urged the international community to take additional steps to ease the problem. The President appreciated the humanitarian policies of Thailand, outlined his commitment to a long-range systematic U.S. program of resettlement, and reviewed the continuing U.S. efforts with other nations to do more.

The President congratulated the Prime Minister on current progress to combat narcotics production and trafficking in and through Thailand, particularly the creation of innovative crop substitution programs. They agreed on the need for expanded cooperative efforts in this area of such importance to the United States and Thailand as well as other affected countries.

Prime Minister Kriangsak invited President Carter to visit Thailand. The President expressed pleasure and said he would seek a mutually convenient time.

Jimmy Carter, Visit of Prime Minister Kriangsak of Thailand Joint Press Statement. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/248113

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