Tillerson in Thailand, as US cosies up to oldest Asian ally

32

Bangkok

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson landed in Bangkok on Tuesday for talks with junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha, the highest-level American diplomatic visit since the Thai army grabbed power in a 2014 coup.
The one-day drop-in comes as Washington reboots its relationship with Thailand under President Donald Trump, whose administration has enraged rights groups by cosying up to strongmen around the globe.
The Thai army’s 2014 toppling of the civilian government pinched ties with Washington, who distanced itself from its oldest ally in Asia and trimmed back military aid.
But relations are on a better footing under Trump, with the US president extending an invitation to junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha.—AFP