Compilation of Weekly Presidential Documents - December 17, 2001 - Joint statement between the United States of America and the Kingdom of Thailand

Monday, December 17, 2001


Volume 37, Issue 50; ISSN: 0511-4187


Joint statement between the United States of America and the Kingdom of


George W Bush; Thaksin Shinawatra



� December 14, 2001



� President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra

today reaffirmed the strength and vitality of the alliance between

the United States and Thailand, celebrating a mature partnership

that spans many fields of endeavor, based on a shared commitment to

democracy, open markets with free and fair trade, human rights, and

ethnic and religious tolerance. Noting U.S.-Thai cooperation in

conflicts from World War II to the war on terrorism, the President

and the Prime Minister expressed the conviction that the alliance

has been a pillar of stability in the Asia-Pacific region and

beyond. The two leaders agreed that the scourges of terrorism,

narcotics trafficking, and other transnational threats demonstrate

the continued need for a robust alliance into the 21st century.

Highlighting their vibrant program of joint military exercises and

training, including co-hosting the largest multilateral military

exercise in Asia every year, the two leaders emphasized their

determination to strengthen and revitalize the alliance, while

working with partners throughout the region to combat common

threats. The two leaders agreed on the importance of a strong and

united ASEAN, and President Bush offered all appropriate assistance

to support capacity-building within ASEAN. The two leaders pledged

to continue cooperation in promoting regional peace and stability

through the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).



� President Bush expressed appreciation for the Thai Government's

support for the campaign against terrorism, including efforts to

identify terrorist assets and money flows, reinforce

money-laundering legislation, and pass new anti-terrorism measures.

The two leaders pledged continued collaboration on money laundering

in the Asia-Pacific Group and the Egmont Group, and expressed

determination to expand counterterrorism cooperation further through

new programs such as the Terrorist Interdiction Program. President

Bush welcomed Prime Minister Thaksin's commitment to sign all

counter-terrorism conventions as soon as possible in accordance with

the constitutional process in Thailand and praised the Prime

Minister's leadership in signing and implementing UNSCR 1373.

President Bush further welcomed the Prime Minister's offer to

participate in the reconstruction of Afghanistan, noting Thailand's

successful leadership of peacekeeping operations in East Timor. To

further enhance Thailand's peacekeeping capabilities, President Bush

announced that Thailand would continue to be a priority country for

receipt of assistance and training through the Enhanced

International Peacekeeping Capability Program.



� President Bush expressed strong appreciation for Prime Minister

Thaksin's outstanding leadership in combating narcotics and

promoting quadrilateral counternarcotics cooperation among

neighboring countries. The two leaders discussed cooperative efforts

to fight drug abuse and trafficking, noting that Thailand hosts one

of the largest and most successful U.S. Drug Enforcement

Administration (DEA) operations in the world. After nearly four

decades of close cooperation, the U.S.-Thai partnership on

counternarcotics continues to expand and mature, as characterized by

the successful DEA-sponsored Sensitive Investigative Unit program,

and by ongoing training and relationships between the U.S. Pacific

Command and the Thai counternarcotics units. The primary mission of

U.S. and Thai counternarcotics assets is to stop the transnational

flow of heroin and methamphetamine, which Prime Minister Thaksin has

established as his number one national security priority.



� The two leaders highlighted the major contribution that the

U.S.-Thai International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Bangkok

has made to enhancing the effectiveness of regional cooperation

against drug trafficking and transnational crime. Noting that over

2,000 criminal justice professionals from Asia have been trained at

ILEA since its joint establishment in 1998, the two leaders were

pleased to announce that they have identified a permanent site for

the ILEA training facility in Bangkok and will be cooperating

closely to develop the site and further expand ILEA's activities.



� Underscoring their strong mutual commitment to open markets as the

basis for expanding economic relations, the leaders endorsed the

Framework for Economic Cooperation, signed by Secretary of State

Powell and Foreign Minister Surakiart. The Framework is an

expression of resolve to intensify the rich economic relationship

between the United States and Thailand and addresses opportunities

for future cooperation in trade and investment, intellectual

property protection, transportation, education, telecommunications

and the environment. Moreover, the Framework also highlights

Thailand's commitment to customs reform and broad liberalization of

civil aviation, progress that would pave the way for Thailand's

further emergence as a regional aviation center and cargo hub. Prime

Minister Thaksin emphasized Thailand's openness to foreign direct

investment and continued commitment to liberalization and reform.

The two leaders acknowledged the continuing vitality of the Treaty

of Amity and Economic Relations as a catalyst for increased

bilateral trade and investment. In the spirit of the long history of

warm relations between their nations, the two leaders resolved to

work closely to expand trade bilaterally, regionally, and globally,

particularly in the context of the Doha Development Agenda.



� President Bush recognized Prime Minister Thaksin's role in

promoting closer economic cooperation, both ASEAN-wide and among

Thailand's immediate neighbors, and praised Thailand's commitment to

the ASEAN Free Trade Area.



� To deepen U.S. ties to both the public and private sectors in

Thailand, and in recognition of Bangkok's significance as a regional

hub, President Bush announced that the U.S. Trade and Development

Agency (TDA) will open a regional office in Thailand in January

2002. This office will work to support the development and financing

of priority infrastructure projects in Thailand and throughout the

region. The President and the Prime Minister reaffirmed a commitment

to continue to address a range of economic development issues

through the work of the Kenan Institute Asia, a public-private

partnership supported by both governments. Kenan will continue to

support programs to strengthen Thailand's economic competitiveness,

including its Business Advisory Center for small and medium

enterprises (SMEs). Both leaders also committed to continue

addressing critical needs in education, including through

development of a community college system and expansion of

successful educational and cultural exchange programs, including the

Fulbright and Peace Corps programs.



� Both leaders affirmed their shared commitment to protect the

environment and agreed that the two countries would soon sign an

agreement to establish a Tropical Forest Conservation Fund, which

would enable cooperation under the U.S. Tropical Forest Conservation

Act (TFCA) of 1998. TFCA provides for the cancellation of a portion

of concessional debt owed to the United States in exchange for a

commitment to make local currency payments to support domestic

forest conservation activities. To further enhance cooperative

efforts on the environment, the two leaders agreed that the United

States and Thailand would co-host, and the Trade and Development

Agency (TDA) would fund, a conference to promote better water

management policies, reduce water pollution, and increase water

supply in Thailand and throughout the region. TDA looks forward to

working with the Thai Government to fund additional

environmentally-- sound projects in Thailand.



� President Bush and Prime Minister Thaksin celebrated the

substantial achievements of more than 50 years of institutional,

collaboration involving the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the

U.S.-Thai Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, and

the Ministry of Public Health on a wide variety of tropical and

infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS. Citing Thailand as a model

for other countries, President Bush congratulated Prime Minister

Thaksin for the success of Thailand's programs in dramatically

reducing the levels of HIV/AIDS infection. The leaders praised the

unique bilateral collaboration to develop vaccines for prevention of

HIV/AIDS and welcomed the plan to hold the world's largest HIV

vaccine efficacy trial in 2002. President Bush and Prime Minister

Thaksin welcome Thailand's inclusion in the Leadership and

Investment in Fighting an Epidemic (LIFE) initiative, which is being

implemented through the CDC's Global AIDS program and which will

complement the research CDC and the Thai Ministry of Public Health

have been pursuing jointly since 1990.



� To reinforce the mature partnership between their two countries,

President Bush and Prime Minister Thaksin pledged to continue

regular and close consultations and strengthen cooperation for the

mutual benefit of both countries and peoples.




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