United States Defence Secretary Melvin Laird flew into Bangkok on Thursday ( January 7 ) for talks with the Thai Government on mutual cooperation for the defence of Southeast Asia.
GV Bangkok airport with welcoming party in F/G & plane taxiis
CU Unger talking to Dawee
SV Laird off plane & welcomed (2 shots)
CU Laird introduced to Thai military leaders (4 shots)
GV review stand
GV honour guard lined up.
CU Laird reviewing guard of honour
GV Laird inspecting guard & leaving tarmac (2 shots)
Initials RJ/WP/PS/1214 RJ/WP/PS/1418
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Background: United States Defence Secretary Melvin Laird flew into Bangkok on Thursday ( January 7 ) for talks with the Thai Government on mutual cooperation for the defence of Southeast Asia. At an airport press conference Mr. Laird said that the United States would increase military assistance to its allies in progressive implementation of the Nixon doctrine.
After an airport reception, Mr. Laird went to the residence of the Thai Prime Minister, Mr. Kittikachorn to begin discussions. The American Defence Secretary was accompanied by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Moorer, the American Ambassador to Thailand, Mr. Unger and Pentagon officials.
Mr. Laird's pledge of increased aid is seen as a good omen for the discussions. Thai leaders want a speed up in delivery of American helicopters and other equipment for combatting growing communist insurgency. It's thought that the Thai leaders also expected to hear from Mr. Laird on progress in the "Vietnamisation" programme and an indication on the withdrawal rate of American troops from South Vietnam this year.
Thailand, which maintains 12,000 combat troops in South Vietnam currently receives American aid worth around 70 million dollars ( 28 million Sterling ) a year.