On 30 March 2018, the Embassy the United States of America in Thailand and Mae Fah Luang University held a special presentation entitled “Great and Good Friends: 200 Years of U.S.-Thai Friendship” This meaningful event was held to commemorate the bicentennial of official contact between the United States of America and the Kingdom of Thailand and to establish better understanding of the two countries’ partnership among MFU students, staff and lecturers.
Among MFU’s guests of honor to the event were: Ambassador of the United States of America to Thailand, H.E. Mr. Glyn T. Davies, Mrs. Jaqueline Davies, Consul General of the United States of America, Mrs. Jennifer A. Harhigh, and Political and Economic Officer from the Consulate General in Chiang Mai, Mrs. Jennifer Barnes Kerns.
In the presentation, the participants had an invaluable opportunity to listen to the story of the U.S.-Thai relations through the pictures of gifts exchanged between the two nations at significant moments over the past 200 years presented by the honourable speaker, Ambassador of the United States of America to Thailand H.E. Mr. Glyn T. Davies.
The U.S. Ambassador H.E. Mr. Glyn explained that according to the letter from Phraya Suriyawong Montri (Dit Bunnag) to President James Monroe, the initial contact between Thailand and the U.S. was made in 1818 through an American sea captain Stephen Williams. Moreover, Thailand is the oldest treaty ally of the United States in Asia, initiating a “perpetual peace” which has lasted to this day. Furthermore, there were royal gifts and other items exchanged at historic moments including a ceremonial gold robe and a cigarette case with royal cypher of King Ananda Mahidol which tells the story of two nations and represents goodwill and understanding between the two countries
Moreover, in the Q&A session the Ambassador said that he was very impressed by the interesting questions from MFU students on various issues including U.S. economic strategy (trade deficit list), gun ownership, and the Sustainable Develpment Goals (SDGs).
Additionally, after the presentation, the U.S. Ambassador H.E. Mr. Glyn and President of Mae Fah Luang University Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vanchai Sirichana discussed future cooperation between the two nations. MFU has established bilateral collaboration with many institutes in the United States in various fields. Therefore, MFU intended to further collaboration with the U.S. in the field of Medicine through staff exchanges as well as knowledge sharing about tropical diseases, emerging infectious diseases and border health in order to reach the goals of improving the well-being of the people and becoming a medical hub for the region.
For more detailed information about U.S.-Thai relations please visit the Great & Good Friends Exhibition which can be seen from 21 March to 30 June 2018 at the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles, at the Grand Palace in Bangkok or visit www.greatandgoodfriends.com