Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
June 13, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, good afternoon. I’m delighted to welcome Foreign Minister Surapong back to the United States. I know he was a student here, I think, in Washington – or in Ohio, in Ohio. And to also welcome you on your first official visit here.

Now the United States is very proud of our strong friendship with the Kingdom of Thailand, representing an alliance that is now 179 years old and indispensible in our pursuit of promoting shared values, regional peace, and security. Tomorrow, U.S. and Thai officials will be holding the fourth round of the U.S.-Thailand Strategic Dialogue, where they will discuss deepening our cooperation, including on disaster assistance, trade and investment opportunities, peace keeping, human rights, people-to-people exchanges, and protecting the environment.

We support the Kingdom of Thailand assuming a greater leadership role in the region. And we look forward to working with Thailand in pursuing our common objectives for maintaining peace and prosperity in the Asia Pacific.

FOREIGN MINISTER SURAPONG: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I am very pleased to join Madam Secretary for the Fourth Thai-U.S. Strategic Dialogue in Washington. Madam Secretary, it is a pleasure to see you once again, and thank you for your invitation and your warm hospitality. I look forward to discussing with Madam Secretary on a number of important issues of common interests for our two countries.

Our two countries have had a longstanding relationship. Next year, it will marks 180 years of our relation. Today, we see this relationship as a strategic partnership with positive developments to – in Southeast Asia and East Asia. We seek to enhance this partnership to, in particular, our trade and investment ties to benefit our people. As partners, we will work together to deal with regional and global challenges.

Finally, we welcome the U.S. greater engagement with Southeast Asia and East Asia. We believe that this would help contribute to regional peace and stability, which is important for economic growth and prosperity of the region. Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, Minister. Thank you.

PRN: 2012/961