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Pattaya Daily News

26 October 2011 :: 09:10:29 am 59440

US praises Thailand’s response to floods

WASHINGTON, October 25, 2011 - The Pentagon praised Thailand's response to the country's worst flooding in decades Tuesday and said the United States stood ready to assist if needed.
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US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, on a tour of Asia, “is closely monitoring the situation and applauds the Thai government’s quick response to this major natural disaster,” spokesman George Little said in a statement.

Thailand is a close ally, and we will continue to work with Thai officials to assess what they may need in the form of assistance from the United States.”

The Pentagon statement came amid questions about how the Thai government has responded to the crisis and after Bangkok declined an offer of help from the US Navy, which had sent an aircraft carrier — the USS George Washington — and three other ships to the area to provide possible help with relief efforts.

With no formal request, the aircraft carrier departed the area last Friday and headed to Japan for an annual exercise, officials said.

Panetta, who held talks in Tokyo earlier, has “expressed serious concern about the flooding in Thailand” throughout his visit to the Asia-Pacific region and offers his “deepest condolences to all those who have suffered,” the statement said.

A US defense official in Washington told AFP on Monday the United States had received “mixed messages” from Thailand about US assistance and in the end, no formal request was issued.

Reporter : AFP   Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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