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Pattaya Daily News

27 October 2011 :: 09:10:07 am 59485

US Navy ship docks at Thailand port

WASHINGTON, October 26, 2011 - A US destroyer has docked at a port in Thailand for a routine visit, the Pentagon said Wednesday, as Bangkok has declined any US military assistance in response to massive flooding.
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The USS Mustin arrived two days ago at the port of Laem Chabang but was not involved in any disaster relief efforts even as the country faced the worst flooding in decades.

“We do have a destroyer that’s pulled into a port there and is working with a country team, to just do community relations and outreach there locally, donating clothing and food and some money to the Red Cross,” spokesman Captain John Kirby told reporters.

“It’s not part of an officially, government-requested batch of help there.”

The US Navy had sent an aircraft carrier, the USS George Washington, and other ships to the area for possible assistance with emergency efforts in Thailand but the Bangkok government never issued a formal request for help and the vessels departed.

Defense officials in Washington this week had said the United States received “mixed messages” from Bangkok as to whether it wanted help. But the Pentagon has since issued a statement praising Thailand’s response to the crisis.

Although US Pacific Command was “leaning forward” and ready to help, it was up to Bangkok to decide whether it required outside assistance, Kirby said.

“You have to be there at the invitation of the host government,” he said.

“We’re still willing to work and continue to work with the Thai government to assess whatever help they might need and that we might be able to provide.”

US and Thai leaders would continue to confer about any possible disaster relief assistance, Kirby added.

Reporter : AFP   Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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