Thai politics a complicated affair: Obama

Thai politics a complicated affair: Obama
PHOTO: The Nation/ANN

US President Barack Obama said yesterday he realised that Thailand's internal politics were complicated, and that the US was ready to co-operate with the Kingdom in its bid to forge a stable democracy.

Obama conveyed his message in a meeting with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in Manila.

Deputy government spokesman Werachon Sukhondhapatipak said Prayut had told Obama he would do his best to bring full democracy back to Thailand.

"US President Obama told Prayut that Thai politics is complicated, but that he is ready to help Thailand return to sustainable democracy," Werachon said.

Obama said relations between the two countries were very significant, especially since Thailand is an old US ally in the region. "He emphasised that the bilateral relations and military co-operation are still strong," Werachon said.

Thai-US ties were strained by the May 2014 coup, with Washington downgrading ties, including military assistance.

The spokesman said Prayut had thanked Obama and the US Congress for appointing a new United States envoy to Thailand, adding that the Thai government was willing to work closely with the new ambassador in order to continue and maintain co-operation in mutually beneficial spheres.

Werachon also told reporters that, in his statement to the Apec summit, Prayut said Thailand was committed to placing importance and giving support to the roles of Apec in promoting sustainable growth among member states.

The annual 21-member Apec summit - hosted this year by the Philippines - aims to forge trade unity, but often finds itself side-tracked by other events. The summit ended yesterday.

Prayut also expressed condolences over the series of attacks in Paris last week, which claimed at least 129 lives and injured many others. He condemned the attacks and offered moral support to families of the victims, saying that Thailand would join hands with the international community in fighting against terrorism.

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