The United States has denied claims made by a local Thai group about its new consulate in Chiang Mai being used for covert military purposes including supplying weapons to rebels in Myanmar.
Nicole Fox, spokesperson for the US embassy in Bangkok, said that such allegations made by the “Peoples of Thailand” group are untrue.
“The construction of the new consulate building in Chiang Mai is part of the US Department of State’s broader effort to upgrade diplomatic facilities worldwide from Morocco to Mexico,” Ms Fox said.
“The new building reflects the depth and breadth of our relationship with Thailand,” she said.
The claims were issued in an open letter from Nitithorn Lumlua, representative of the “Peoples of Thailand” group. It was addressed to US President Joe Biden and called for him to reconsider the consulate’s purpose.
The letter said the group hoped that the establishment of the consulate would not turn the tourist city into a militarised zone.
The open letter urged Mr Biden to reconsider the consulate being used by armed personnel of the Central Intelligence Agency.
The letter also called on the US to end its arms embargo on Myanmar via Thai borders as Thailand’s stance on Myanmar’s internal political conflict is neutral.
The consulate is expected to be finished by the end of 2023.
In February, the White House published the Indo-Pacific Strategy of the United States and said that Thailand has a key role in the region as a US ally.
Also, the US and Thailand held their annual Cobra Gold military exercise earlier in February.
Some Thais have wondered whether the US had decided to situate their Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) operators in Thailand.
Others have likewise theorised that the establishment of a new consulate in Chiang Mai would become a new base for the latest espionage technology from America.