US, Japanese ambassadors meet new Thai Foreign Minister

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BANGKOK, Sept 13 —  The United States and Japanese ambassadors to Thailand have held discussions with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Gen Thanasak Patimaprakorn, who informed them that the interim Thai government would do everything possible to strengthen the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). 

The meeting was held on Friday, where Gen Thanasak told journalists that US ambassador Kristie A Kenney and Japanese ambassador Shigekazu Sato each paid separate courtesy call visits to congratulate him upon being appointed foreign affairs minister.

He said the two ambassadors had gained more confidence in this country after the government was formed and plans implemented in accordance to the road map laid out by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) that seized administrative power on May 22.

Gen Thanasak said he had informed them that Thailand must remain strong in order to prevent ASEAN from being weakened.

Touching on the downgrading of Thailand by Washington to the lowest position on tackling human trafficking, Gen Thanasak said Ms Kenney also disagreed with the downgrading as the Thai government had put in efforts to rid the problem, but it may have confronted with certain regulations, and the government would start anew in an attempt to solve the issue.

Gen Thanasak said experts would be invited and brainstorming sessions organised and that he hoped the US government would improve this country’s ranking.

Gen Thanasak said he had assigned Foreign Affairs Ministry officials to prepare a 10-year strategy on foreign relations so that it could match with and guide policies of the future government.