US-Thai diplomatic relations return to normal
The US government downgraded its diplomatic relations with Thailand following the coup in 2014 , which overthrew the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Bilateral relations have, however, steadily been returning to normal since this year’s general election in Thailand and the formation of an elected government.
The United States looks forward to cooperating with Thailand in all areas, said Peter Haymond, the outgoing US chargé d’affaires.
Mr. Haymond, who assumed his role as the chargé d’affaires in October 2018, paid a courtesy call on Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan on Wednesday morning to bid farewell at the end of his tour of duty in Thailand. He also introduced his successor, Mr. Michael Heath, to the deputy prime minister. Heath is the former US consul general in Chiangmai who speaks influent Thai and is married to a Thai.
Speaking to reporters afterward, Mr. Haymond said Thailand and the United States have a long history of close relations which are now being fully restored following the general election in March and an installment of a democratically-elected government.
Regarding the new US ambassador to Thailand, Mr. Haymond that the envoy should be able to take up his post in Bangkok in a few months’ time. He said well-known lawyer Michael DeSombre has been nominated by President Donald Trump and his nomination is waiting endorsement from the US Senate. DeSombre is president, and on the board of governors, of “Republicans Overseas”. He also served on the board of the Hong Kong Forum, which promotes exchanges between scholars and policy-makers worldwide, and is active in Asia’s intellectual and philanthropic communities.
The US embassy in Bangkok has been without an ambassador for almost a year, since the departure of Glyn Davies whose term ended in September last year.