Press Release : Members of the Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) of the European Parliament paid a call on the Deputy Foreign Minister of Thailand news3

Press Release : Members of the Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) of the European Parliament paid a call on the Deputy Foreign Minister of Thailand

On 11 May 2018, Mr. David McAllister, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and Chair of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, accompanying by H.E. Mr. Pirkka Tapiola, Ambassador of the European Union to Thailand, led 7 MEPs and AFET members to pay a courtesy call on H.E. Mr. Virasakdi Futrakul, Deputy Foreign Minister of Thailand, and the senior officials of the Thai Foreign Ministry during the delegation official visit to Thailand on 10 - 11 May 2018.

Both side discussed and exchanged views on the topics of mutual interests both at bilateral and regional levels, including, Thai - European Union relations, Thailand’s political developments, ASEAN - European Union Relations, Thailand’s ASEAN Chairmanship 2019, and various regional security issues.

The Thai side expressed its readiness to work with the European Union to enhance relations both at bilateral and ASEAN levels in her capacity as the Country Coordinator for ASEAN - EU Dialogue Relations for the past three years and as the next ASEAN Chairman in 2019. During her chairmanship, Thailand will put emphasis on promoting ASEAN as a truly people-centered Community, where no one is left behind as well as to focus on sustainable development, enhancing connectivity, and being forward looking.

In addition, the Thai side briefed the delegation on the latest political developments in Thailand. The Deputy Foreign Minister reassured the EU Parliamentarians that the government is currently on track towards a return to a sustainable democracy and intends to hold the general election according to the timeline as previously planned. The EU side responded that the EU viewed Thailand as a constructive partner and an important actor in the region. The EU expressed its hope to see the relationship between Thailand and the EU continue to progress including the revitalization of the Free Trade Agreement negotiation between Thailand and the EU.

This visit is the first AFET’s visit to Thailand in many years and happened after the visit to Indonesia. After the call, the Deputy Foreign Minister hosted a luncheon in honour of Mr. McAllister and the delegation. The meeting of the two sides proved to be constructive and the EU side has benefited from insightful information on the current development in Thailand as well as contributed towards a closer cooperation between Thailand and the EU.