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Speeches & Remarks 2010

Statement: U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt M. Campbell

May 9, 2010

Bangkok, Thailand (As prepared for delivery)

Good morning. It is good to be back in Thailand. Our extremely able U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Eric John and I just concluded a very stimulating and illuminating discussion with a number of public figures. I have talked to those from the government, those associated with the opposition, and civil society; we've had frank but respectful exchanges.

I am here not to mediate a solution or to offer support for any particular outcome, but to underscore U.S. support for Thailand our oldest treaty ally in Asia and for the Thai people in this challenging period.

Even though Thailand is going through a difficult time, there is reason to be encouraged by efforts to bridge the differences between the government and UDD protesters and negotiate a fair and durable compromise. We strongly welcome the Prime Minister's roadmap for national reconciliation and commitment for new elections. We are also encouraged by the UDD's positive response to the roadmap and hope that its leaders will seize this opportunity to responsibly and expeditiously lead Thailand out of its current predicament. Restraint and foresight are critical for both sides at this time.

However, we remain cautious about progress as those who don't want peace or political progress continue to employ violence as a means to undermine resolution of political differences --- like the unfortunate shootings Friday night that resulted in the loss of lives. In addition to those injured directly, political violence damages the nation, undermines democratic institutions and legal mechanisms for dispute resolution. We call on both sides to urge restraint and to firmly commit to a process of peaceful reconciliation in support of the rule of law and pursuit of a just and democratic outcome.

America stands by to support Thailand and its people as they work out a solution in this challenging period.