U.S. Dismisses Claims About Covert Operation in Chiang Mai

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The United States has dismissed claims made by a local Thai group that a new American consulate in Chiang Mai is being used for covert military purposes or supplying weapons to rebel groups in neighboring countries.

The claims, which requested that U.S. President Joe Biden reconsider the purpose of the consulate, were made in an open letter by Nitithorn Lumlua, a representative of the “Peoples of Thailand” group. It also urged the U.S. to lift its arms embargo on Myanmar, citing Thailand’s neutral stance on Myanmar’s internal political situation.

Nicole Fox, a spokesperson for the U.S. embassy in Bangkok, said the “Peoples of Thailand” group’s allegations were without merit and that the construction of the new Chiang Mai consulate building is part of the U.S. State Department’s broader effort to upgrade diplomatic facilities in various locations around the world. 

According to the spokesperson, the facility will serve as a communications hub for Thailand and the U.S., allowing the two countries to better coordinate on future bilateral programs.

The consulate is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2023.

Earlier this year, the White House published its U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy that said Thailand played an important role in the region as a U.S. ally. In February, the United States and Thailand also conducted their annual Cobra Gold military exercise. The event, which the military said was necessary to prepare both nations for future emergencies, was attended by a large number of personnel and featured various types of military equipment.

Claodia Moro
Author: Claodia Moro

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