WASHINGTON -- Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby provided the following readout:
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke with Thailand Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Prayut Chan-o-cha on the phone today to reaffirm the importance of the alliance and defense cooperation. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha congratulated Secretary Austin on his confirmation as Secretary of Defense, and affirmed his commitment to the alliance with the United States.
Secretary Austin and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha discussed COVID-19 response, and Secretary Austin offered continued assistance. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha conveyed his government’s gratitude to the United States for its support, which has been led by the United States Agency for International Development, the Centers for Disease Control and Response, and the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Science.
Secretary Austin and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha discussed bilateral defense cooperation and agreed to focus on defense modernization, professional military education enhancement, and promoting interoperability between the U.S. and Thai militaries.
Secretary Austin and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha also exchanged views on the regional security environment. They agreed to work together to maintain strong ties and increase security cooperation to address challenges going forward.