Top Stories : The Visit to Thailand of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom during 11 – 12 February 2018 news3

Top Stories : The Visit to Thailand of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom during 11 – 12 February 2018

On 12 February 2018, at 08.30 hrs., The Right Honourable Boris Johnson MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom, had a bilateral meeting with H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, during his first official visit to Thailand as a Guest of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand during 11 – 12 February 2018.
During the meeting, both sides reaffirmed their intent to intensify bilateral cooperation, especially in the areas of FinTech, aerospace, science, technology and innovation (STI) and education, which has been identified by the Third Thai – UK Strategic Dialogue as potential areas of mutual interest. The UK Foreign Secretary expressed confidence in Thailand’s economic dynamism and was impressed by the economic potential of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), as briefed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand. 
The meeting also provided an opportunity for both sides to constructively exchange views and share their common concerns on regional and global issues especially regarding the situation in the Rakhine State. The UK Foreign Secretary emphasized the need for an international independent mechanism to facilitate the repatriation of displaced persons, such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as well as the need to take heed of advice and assistance from the international community. In this regard, the Thai Foreign Minister expressed Thailand and ASEAN’s readiness to support Myanmar in the implementation of the recommendations proposed by Mr. Kofi Annan’s Advisory Commission and further suggested that the international community should wait for the recommendations from the Advisory Board on Rakhine, chaired by Dr. Surakiart Sathirathai, to determine what measures should be taken to further support the Board’s efforts. 
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand confirmed Thailand’s intention to participate in the upcoming London Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade 2018 in recognition of the need for collective efforts to tackle illicit wildlife trafficking and in support of the UK’s global fight against it. 
The UK Foreign Secretary also expressed the UK’s intention to develop its partnership with ASEAN. 
On the same day, the UK Foreign Secretary paid a courtesy call on General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand. Both sides discussed ways to enhance bilateral relations and support British opportunities in the EEC. The Prime Minister expressed hope that the over 10,000 Thai students who are pursuing their studies in the UK will be looked after by the UK government and also urged the UK government to find measures to alleviate the issue of stringent visa requirement for Thai chefs.
This visit reflects the strategic partnership and mutual understanding that exists between Thailand and the UK, as the UK Foreign Secretary expressed support for Thailand’s progress on the Roadmap towards general elections and the efforts taken by the Thai Government to tackle the issue of Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing (IUU).