>Thai PM to visit neighboring countries after policy declaration

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September 27th, 2008
ICT by Amrit Rashmisrisethi –

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports that Prime Minister and Defence Minister Somchai Wongsawat (pictured middle) has a tentative schedule to visit four neighboring countries, including Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Union of Myanmar, Kingdom of Cambodia and Malaysia.

A source reported that Samdech Akkak Moha Sena Pedey Decho Hun Sen, the incumbent prime minister of Cambodia, has disclosed in the first meeting of new Cambodian Cabinet today (September 26th) that Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat has been planning to visit the Kingdom of Cambodia on October 13, 2008. However, His Excellency Hun Sen has not indicated whether or not Prime Minister Somchai would discuss the border dispute during his visit with him.

Deputy Director-General of the Information Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Mr. Thani Thongpakdee (ธานี ทองภักดี), anticipates that the information about the visit to the Kingdom of Cambodia may derive from the premier’s prior telephone discussion with His Excellency Hun Sen on September 18th.

According to Thai tradition, Mr. Thani states that a new prime minister will pay an official visit to heads of foreign states after declaring the Government’s policies before the Parliament only, adding that the premier’s call on to foreign countries normally aims to introduce himself as a new prime minister and make an acquaintance with the heads of foreign countries for future multilateral relations and cooperation.

Mr. Thani admits Mr Somchai has a rough plan to visit four neighboring countries prior to other visits, but the official schedule has not yet been approved. He says at the moment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been cooperating with the four countries in seeking a proper schedule for the premier.

Source : National News Bureau, Public Relations Department of Thailand

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