US Ambassador says US-Thai relations remain warm


BANGKOK, July 11 — US ambassador to Thailand Kristie A Kenny emphasized to Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong, deputy leader of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) and air force chief, that relations between the United States and its close ally Thailand remain strong.

According to Air Marshal Monthon Satchukorn, Royal Thai Air Force spokesman, Ms Kenny met with ACM Prajin, who is overseeing economic matters, on Thursday at Royal Thai Air Force headquarters.

High-ranking RTAF and Foreign Affairs Ministry officials also attended the meeting.

Ms Kenny was quoted as telling ACM Prajin that both countries have enjoyed good relations for a long time while many major American firms have invested in the kingdom.

She suggested that amending certain trade and investment laws would be key to stimulating Thailand’s economic growth.

Several other issues discussed included how to reduce human trafficking and forced labour problems in Thailand. Ms Kenny told ACM Prajin that the US understood the problem as Thailand happened to be a transit point of such problems.

Accusing Thailand of continued human trafficking and forced labour problems, Washington on June 20 downgraded Thailand to “Tier 3” in its  annual Trafficking in Persons report.

The US has accused the kingdom of allowing human trafficking, slavery and human rights abuses.

The US held Thailand on the Tier 2 warning list for four consecutive years and advised the Thai government to take action before implementing the downgrade.

During their conversation, ACM Prajin briefed Ms Kenny on why the military decided to take over the country on May 22 and further explained NCPO chief Gen  Prayuth Chan-ocha’s intention  to achieve full democracy for Thailand within next year, said Air Marshal Monthol.