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Thai-US Relations



The History of Thai-US Relations


Thailand and the United States have been friends for almost two centuries. There are many unique and special elements in our bilateral relations. The strong Thai - US relationship stems from the fact that both of our countries share a long and diverse history. Our formal relations extend back over 180 years to the signing of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce between our two nations on March 20, 1833, during the Presidency of Andrew Jackson, the seventh United States President and the reign of His Majesty King Phra Nang Klao, or King Rama III of the Chakri Dynasty. With the signing of such Treaty, the two countries pledged to establish "a perpetual peace" between each other, a vow that has withstood the test of time. We, in Thailand, recall with gratification that this Treaty was the first such Treaty that the United States had concluded with any Asian country.

Our present King, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej Maharaj, was born on December 5, 1927 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where His father, His Royal Highness Prince Mahidol, was studying medicine at the Harvard Medical School. Since His accession to the throne over 60 years ago, His Majesty the King has paid two visits to the United States - the first one in 1960 and the second one in 1967.

Thailand and the United States share similar values and ideologies: peace, liberty, democracy and free enterprise. This leads both of us to continue our close ties and cooperation in a variety of fields as partners in the pursuit of common interests that benefit both of our countries and peoples.

In defense of our common values, Thailand and the United States have fought side by side and have made countless sacrifices for one another. Thailand is one of the five countries in the Asia - Pacific region, and one of only two countries in Southeast Asia, with whom the United States has bilateral security agreements.

A military assistance agreement was signed with the United States in 1950 following the end of the Korean War.

In 1954, the Manila Pact was signed, pursuant to which the United States recognizes that a threat to the security of Thailand constitutes a threat to the United States. This Pact was subsequently reinforced by the Thanat-Rusk Joint Communiqué of 1962.

The mutual security agreements still continue to remain strong today. As testimony to the strong security ties between Thailand and the United States are the annual military exercises which our two countries have held for decades. These military maneuvers, dubbed "Cobra Gold," are the largest military exercises involving the U.S. forces in Asia.
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