Thailand seeks to foster ties with Saudi Arabia during PM’s Riyadh visit

25-Jan-2022 Intellasia | ArabNews | 1:13 PM Print This Post

Thai prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s trip to Saudi Arabia Thailand’s first top leadership visit to the Kingdom in three decades is expected to promote bilateral relations, the Thai government said on Monday.

The Thai prime minister is scheduled to arrive in Riyadh for a two-day visit on Tuesday, at the invitation of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“The prime minister is scheduled to have an audience and discuss with the crown prince (ways) to strengthen and promote bilateral relations,” Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, spokesperson for the Thai government, said during a media briefing.

“This visit is the (first) government leader-level visit of the two countries … in more than 30 years.”

He added that on his Saudi Arabia trip, the prime minister will be accompanied by the deputy prime minister, foreign minister, energy minister and labour minister.

The Saudi foreign ministry said on Sunday the visit follows “consultations that resulted in convergence of views on various issues of common concern.”

Dr Sarawut Aree, director of the Muslim Studies centre at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, told Arab News that normalisation of bilateral ties would allow Thailand to again send workers to the Gulf state.

“Thailand definitely wants to normalise the diplomatic relation,” he said. “Thailand sent more than 200,000 labourers to Saudi Arabia each year when they had good relations, and now Saudi Arabia is driving Vision 2030 that focuses on economic (development) and infrastructure with less reliance on oil. So, Thailand can see the opportunity for labourers in Saudi Arabia.”

Aree added that the prime minister’s trip was “like a signal or a formal protocol that will make the improvement of the relationship more concrete.”


Category: Thailand

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