President Trump and Prime Minister Prayut both made prepared remarks to the White House press corps immediately after the arrival of Gen Prayut and his wife, but did not take questions.
Following is the text of a White House press release on remarks made by Gen Prayut and Mr Trump. Sections pertaining solely to US issues by Mr Trump have been omitted.
Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha of Thailand Before Bilateral Meeting
12.33pm Monday, EDT (11.30pm Monday Thailand time)
President Trump: Thank you very much. It’s a great honour to have Prime Minister Prayut of Thailand and Mrs (Naraporn) Prayut. This is a very great honour for us.
We’ve had a long and very storied history with Thailand. In fact, we were just mentioning that Andrew Jackson, who is on the wall, was the president when we first developed the big relationship.
So we have a very strong relationship right now, as of this moment, and it’s getting stronger in the last nine months. We’ve done a lot of things together, and it is a tremendous — it’s really very good to have you with us.
This has been a rough day for us because of what took place in Las Vegas, but this was a long-scheduled meeting and it is a great honour. Thank you very much.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha: (Unofficial; as interpreted.) As the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand and on behalf of the people of Thailand, I am very delighted and it is a great honour for me to be here to meet Mr President and, of course, the First Lady.
Mr President has mentioned about the relationship between our two countries. We are long-standing allies. Of course, Thailand would like to take this opportunity to express my condolences to those victims and family of the shooting incident in Las Vegas last night. And I wish to express our solidarity with the American people.
Moreover, I would also like to express my condolences to those victims and their family in the US and in Puerto Rico who are affected by hurricane. The government of Thailand and our private sector have also pledged for financial assistance.
We wish all the best for all success to Mr President to tackle all these problems.
Coming to meet Mr President today is a good opportunity for me and for the Thai government and the people of Thailand to work closely to further strengthen the cooperation between our two countries.
We work, of course, in hand on our security defence cooperation to help ensure that our citizens are safeguarded from terrorism and other threats. Of course, we will work closely in order we solve the regional issue of concern, of course.
I am confident that, with President’s leadership, we will be able to tackle all the problems and work together in order to further strengthen the cooperation between our two countries, which we already mentioned that we have a long history of relationship — 200 years.
I also would like to commend the First Lady on playing such a vital role in looking after those who have less opportunity. Of course, your daughter also worked very closely in order to tackle the problem. I know that she developed the interest to solve the issues of women and children. So therefore, Thailand stands ready to work closely with the First Lady and with Mr President of course.
(Government House provided raw video of the arrival of Gen Prayut and his wife, and some of the remarks to the press.)
President Trump: I do want to say that our relationship on trade — and we’ve been negotiating very long and hard, and we’re meeting with our representatives in a little while to go further. But our relationship on trade is becoming more and more important. And it’s a great country to trade with; they make product and different things that are really very important to us, and we likewise sell to you.
I think we’re going to try and sell a little bit more to you now, make that a little bit better if that’s possible. But we have a big, full period of time scheduled with our two staffs.
… So thank you very much everybody. Appreciate it. Thank you.