Prayut meets CIA Cohen

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Prayut meets CIA Cohen

Myanmar security would be the order of the day

David Cohen, deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency, arrives at Government House in Bangkok on Friday. (Photo: Wassana Nanuam)

David Cohen, deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), had a closed-door meeting on Friday with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha in which they reportedly discussed a number of topics, including the security situation in Provision of humanitarian aid by Myanmar and Thailand to the country.

In an unannounced meeting, General Prayut spoke with Mr Cohen at Government House around 9:30 a.m., which lasted about 45 minutes, a source said. The media were barred from attending.

Their discussions focused on regional stability, the situation in Myanmar and providing assistance to affected parties in the neighboring country, the Government House source said.

Their discussions also covered economic security, areas of cooperation between Thailand and the United States, and the United States’ commitment to support Thailand when it chairs the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. next year, the source said.

“Their talks focused on politics, economics and [bilateral] cooperation in general, not on transnational crime or the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership [CPTPP]”, added the source.

“In discussing the political situation in Thailand, the Thai side sought to better understand the local context behind the case, which the United States appears to understand,” the source said.

Mr Cohen is due to travel to two other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) countries after leaving Thailand, the source said.

General Supoj Malaniyom, secretary general of the National Security Council, confirmed later today that Mr. Cohen and General Prayut met at Government House, but said the purpose of the discussion was to strengthen ties. security between Thailand and the other members of ASEAN.

It is normal for a CIA cadre to visit Thailand once a year for information sharing and to strengthen cooperation between the US agency and its Thai counterpart, he said.

Mr. Cohen then had separate talks with Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, in charge of government security affairs, and General Supoj, the same source said.

General Prawit later described this meeting as a personal reunion between himself and Mr. Cohen, whom he met on numerous occasions. He denied discussing regional security issues as these had already been raised with the prime minister.

On Thursday, Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai revealed that he had met with Burmese junta leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing during his visit to the country last Sunday, but did not give details.

The minister’s visit gained public attention after it was reported by foreign media, with former Thai Ambassador to Kazakhstan and Mozambique Russ Jalichandra calling on the government to be more transparent about the details of diplomatic visits to Myanmar. .

Mr Russ urged the ministry to clarify reports claiming that Thailand donated Covid-19 vaccines to the junta, but Mr Don chose not to address these specific reports.


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