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No US base in Thailand: Apirat

THAILAND: Army chief Apirat Kongsompong has denied the US is looking to set up a military base on Thai soil.

By Bangkok Post

Thursday 9 July 2020, 10:00AM

Army chief Apirat Kongsompong. Photo: Bangkok Post

Army chief Apirat Kongsompong. Photo: Bangkok Post

Responding to reporters’ questions on the issue, Gen Apirat said Thai and US troops have only carried out joint military drills code-named Cobra Gold, which is a multinational exercise held annually in Thailand.

Thailand and Singapore have also signed an agreement where Singapore is able to access a military area in Sai Yok district in Kanchanaburi to conduct military training.

This long-standing arrangement is renewed every three years.

He insisted the US did not ask to use Thailand as a place to build a base.

However, Gen Apirat said US troops have left behind some of their military equipment deployed during exercises in Thailand.

“Don’t stir up issues that might create conflict in the region,” the army chief said.

Thai Residential

Meanwhile, Gen Apirat also defended a two-day visit by a delegation led by US army chief-of-staff James McConville which starts today.

Allaying concerns from many quarters that the delegation may not be subject to health surveillance, the army chief said the delegation will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival in Thailand. Tests will be performed by doctors from the Public Health Ministry, Phramongkutklao Hospital and Thai Airways International staff.

The procedures will be adopted as a model for future visits by foreign delegations.

The US chief-of-staff-led delegation will be the first group of foreigners to officially visit Thailand since the country began lifting COVID-19 restrictions in phases.

Gen McConville will meet Gen Apirat and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha today and tomorrow.

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Kurt | 11 July 2020 - 11:32:26

DeK, suggest you read this mornings news in PN: "Thailand-US plot post-outbreak future". Hope you than understand better what is going on. It underlines what I wrote. Plus of course the Thai hope to get a Covid-19 vaccine from US. May be you have a answer on the question or relationship China -Thai gets a bit sour? It needs some thinking or ability to read between the lines.

DeKaaskopp | 11 July 2020 - 01:01:17

@Tbird   As you say:" The USA is overlooking..."   That's exactly what the US like to do.Overlooking and controlling.Thailand should give a . what the US want or not.Right now with their current president the USA is not a country where someone should look up to.
@Kurt /OMG, what a load of nonsense.

Tbird | 11 July 2020 - 00:02:25

alanito: please see the July 10th article regarding Thailand's efforts to get upgraded from Tier 2 to Tier 1 in the USA's Human Trafficking grading system for further information on Thailand's sub-standard performance on Human Rights issues...

Tbird | 10 July 2020 - 23:49:37

alanito says:"and there is no urgent reason to take the risk." And I ask," how do you know that? " If the U.S Army Chief of Staff is flying over here to meet with the Prime Minister, I would wager there there is an important item on the agenda. In fact ,it might be that the PM is being told to stop the China a**kissing or forget the USA overlooking your backsliding on Democracy...

Kurt | 10 July 2020 - 17:53:49

@alanito.  Of course the USA delegation was very welcome. Thai expect gifts, favours, deals from USA. Among them for example an upgrade from Tier-2 to Tier-1. Plus perhaps a guarantee ( Thailand not get that) that when THAI start flying to USA the planes not get chained/confiscated at USA airport. due to outstanding financial obligations. And so more 'gifts' we ordinary people will not be ...

alanito | 10 July 2020 - 13:48:37

they should not let that delegation enter thailand. covid19 is just detectable with tests 5 days after infection, so simply testing them doesnt help much. and there is no urgent reason to take the risk.

Kurt | 09 July 2020 - 10:40:40

Who did stir up issues that might create conflict in the region? When press (?) ask questions, just answer them, do not insinuate things that are not there or create room for thinking that there is a issue. Not good for 'national security'.


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