Top Stories : Visit of Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand to Bangladesh in the capacity of ASEAN Chair news3

Top Stories : Visit of Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand to Bangladesh in the capacity of ASEAN Chair

On 3 - 4 April 2019, H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, in the capacity of the Chair of ASEAN, paid a visit to the People’s Republic of Bangladesh on a mission to support efforts to address the issue of displaced persons from Rakhine State in Bangladesh. During the visit, the Minister of Foreign Affairs met with H.E. A.K. Abdul Momen, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh, as well as representatives of the local UN agencies, namely the World Food Programme (WFP), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). 
 
At the meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh, the Bangladeshi side expressed its confidence in Thailand’s role as the Chair of ASEAN and a close friend of Bangladesh in addressing the issue of displaced persons from Rakhine State, particularly in ensuring the repatriation of the said displaced persons to Rakhine State in a safe, dignified and sustainable manner. The Bangladeshi side also informed the Thai side of the progress made in their bilateral meetings with Myanmar and Bangladesh’s views on the said issue. Both sides further exchanged views on scenarios Bangladesh had been exploring with Myanmar, especially in ensuring safety and security of displaced persons, and on possible ASEAN’s role in supporting the repatriation process. During the visit, the Foreign Minister presented to the World Food Programme (WFP) representative a contribution from the Royal Thai Government in the amount of USD 150,000 in support of the humanitarian relief operation for displaced persons in Bangladesh.
 
On the bilateral relations, both sides reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthening their cooperation in several mutually beneficial areas, particularly in the economic and human resource development. Both sides also agreed to promote exchanges of high-level visits, which may be accompanied by representatives of the private sector to explore trade and investment opportunities. On this occasion, the Bangladeshi side also expressed appreciation to the Thai side for its strong, consistent support to technical and development cooperation programs, particularly on the inauguration of Bangabandhu Chair Professor at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in honour of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bangladesh’s Father of the Nation. Furthermore, Bangladesh sought support from Thailand on its tourism development program, recognizing Thailand’s expertise and experiences in the area. Both sides also reaffirmed their determination to forge closer ties and strengthen their bilateral cooperation through the existing bilateral mechanisms including the Thailand - Bangladesh Joint Trade Committee and Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation.