Allies still sticking by country: govt

Allies still sticking by country: govt

Kingdom pursues 'balanced' approach

The Foreign Affairs Ministry insists that Thailand has pursued a balanced foreign policy and collaborated closely with other countries, including global powers.

Tanee Sangrat, spokesman for the ministry, yesterday responded to an analysis piece by the opposition criticising Thailand for not properly conducting diplomacy, resulting in a diminished role for the country on the global stage.

According to the analysis, Thailand has begun losing its allies and is unable to protect its national interests.

Mr Tanee said Thailand has constantly maintained close and dynamic relations, cooperation and interaction with other countries, such as the United States, China, Japan, India, members of the European Union, the United Kingdom and Russia, in every aspect.

"Thailand has maintained a balance in the conduct of international relations in all aspects -- a major foundation of the country's foreign policy," he said.

Thailand has also pursued close and proactive cooperation with other countries, resulting in its allies worldwide providing support for the country's efforts in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, he said.

For example, China sent 1 million Sinovac vaccine doses to Thailand and ensured that the vaccines from Sinovac and Sinopharm were delivered properly, while Japan also donated more than 1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in July, he said.

The US also donated more than 1.5 million Pfizer vaccine doses to Thailand on July 30 and pledged to donate an additional 1 million doses and give US$5 million (163 million baht) to support Thailand's efforts to fight Covid-19, he said.

Switzerland also donated 1.1 million antigen test kits and 102 ventilators to be distributed to residents and support mass testing against Covid-19 in Thailand, he said, adding the kingdom has inked a vaccine swap deal with Bhutan and agreed to accept monoclonal antibody medication from Germany to treat critically-ill coronavirus patients.

The ministry is in talks to procure vaccines from India, South Korea and Australia. Economic cooperation was to be discussed with the South Korean foreign affairs minister who started a three-day visit to Thailand yesterday, he said.

On Myanmar, Mr Tanee said Thailand has provided more than 25 million baht in humanitarian aid to the neighbouring country.

Thailand has supported Asean's role in creating an environment to hold talks in Myanmar and suggested the "D4D" as the way forward to de-escalate violence, deliver humanitarian aid, release detainees and hold dialogues, he said.

"Thailand would have not received the support from the world powers and its allied countries in and outside the region, had it not pursued a proactive, balanced and constructive diplomatic role," he said. "This is despite the pressure of the Covid-19 pandemic."

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