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U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
Press Statement

Statement By Richard Boucher, Spokesman
September 21, 2000

Release of Foreign Relations Volume on Southeast Asia Region, 1964-1968

The Department released today Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964-1968, volume XXVII, Mainland Southeast Asia; Regional Affairs. This volume is part of the ongoing official published record of American foreign policy during the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson. The volume documents U.S. policy toward countries on the periphery of the war in Southeast Asia and presents documentation on the two main regional organizations, the Australia-New Zealand-United States pact (ANZUS) and the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO).

The Johnson administration focussed its effort in ANZUS on encouraging Australia and New Zealand's participation in the war in Vietnam. In return Australia attempted to involve Washington in the defense of Malaysia in anticipation of the British withdrawal from East of Suez. As SEATO became a weaker organization, President Johnson boldly tried to create a Mekong River development organization along the lines of the Tennessee Valley Authority. The plan never lived up to Johnson's expectation, but it did help launch the Asian Development Bank.

Covered in depth in this volume are U.S. relations with Cambodia and its leader Prince Sihanouk who sought to guarantee Cambodia's neutrality, but found his country increasingly drawn into the conflict in South Vietnam. The other main compilation documents U.S. relations with Thailand, the United States' staunch ally during the Vietnam conflict. The main themes of U.S.-Thai relations during 1964-1968 were joint military planning in the event of the fall of Laos, military aid and reform, the insurgency in Thailand's northeast, and planning for elections in 1969.

Nine additional volumes in the Foreign Relations series cover the Southeast Asia region for the 1964-1968 period: Volumes I-VII on Vietnam; volume XXVI on Indonesia, Malaysia-Singapore, Philippines; and volume XXVIII on Laos. Of these volumes V-VII and XXVI will be published later in 2000 and in 2001. Volumes I-IV were published in 1992-1998 and volume XXVIII in 1998.

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