Top Stories : The Official Visit of the Prime Minister of Malaysia to Thailand news3

Top Stories : The Official Visit of the Prime Minister of Malaysia to Thailand

      On 24 - 25 October 2018, H.E. Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia, and his spouse, Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah binti Mohamad Ali, paid an official visit to Thailand as Guests of the Royal Thai Government. This visit was the first official visit to Thailand since H.E. Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad assumed the premiership for the second time on 10 May 2018, and was an introductory visit in line with ASEAN tradition.
      The Prime Minister of Malaysia’s delegation also included the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of International Trade and Industry, and high-level government officials.
      The Prime Minister of Thailand held official discussions with the Prime Minister of Malaysia and hosted a dinner reception on 24 October 2018 at the Government House.
      The official visit of the Prime Minister of Malaysia to Thailand marked a new chapter of bilateral relations between Thailand and Malaysia. The Thai Prime Minister praised the Prime Minister of Malaysia as a senior world and regional leader who has greatly advanced Thailand-Malaysia relations. The two Prime Ministers discussed issues of mutual interest as follows:
(1) Southern Border Provinces (SBPs) and security cooperation - the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to working closely together to solve the problems in the SBPs and agreed to strengthen overall security cooperation, particularly in countering transnational crime including narcotic drugs and human trafficking, combating terrorism and extremism, and addressing the issue of dual citizenship.
(2) Economic development and connectivity along border areas - the Prime Minister of Thailand proposed to elevate bilateral economic cooperation to the level of an “Enhanced Strategic Economic Partnership,” under which Thailand and Malaysia can join hands to build greater security, stability and sustainable development for the two countries. Both sides considered that Thailand and Malaysia have the capacity to greatly enhance trade, investment and tourism, and are ready to push forward pending important cooperation projects at the earliest opportunity, including border area development and seamless connectivity, such as extending the opening hours of the Sadao – Bukit Kayu Hitam checkpoint to 24 hours aกd synchronizing the expansion of the CIQ checkpoints, building 2 bridges spanning the Golok River in Narathiwat Province, and expediting 2 MOU's on Cross Border Transport of Passengers and Goods between Thailand and Malaysia as well as conclusion of 7 other agreements/treaties that are still in the negotiation process.
(3) ASEAN - both sides attached importance to supporting close relations within ASEAN, a region with a population of over 600 million people, as well as a large market with great potential. It was therefore a good opportunity to enhance trade and investment to fulfil that potential. The Prime Minister of Malaysia expressed his readiness to support Thailand’s ASEAN Chairmanship in 2019, having a goal to build a strong, people-centred ASEAN Community in which all ASEAN members move forward together while leaving no one behind, and the centrality of ASEAN in cooperating with the international community.
      The bilateral discussions were held in an amicable and constructive manner. Both sides attached great importance on maintaining channels of communication between leaders and Cabinet Ministers of the two countries, including regular meetings to discuss how to move forward Thailand-Malaysia relations to ensure tangible results. The agencies concerned from both sides will work together to implement the two leaders’ shared vision.
      In the morning of 25 October 2018, the Prime Minister of Malaysia paid a courtesy call on H.E. General Prem Tinsulanonda, President of the Privy Council and Statesman, at Si Sao Residence. The Prime Minister of Malaysia also gave a special lecture on “Malaysia-Thailand Bilateral Relations in the context of ASEAN” at Chulalongkorn University Auditorium before his return to Malaysia.