The move came on the heels of Thursday’s meeting in the Laotian capital of Vientiane between Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his Thai counterpart Yingluck Shinawatra on the issue.
In an unofficial Thai-Vietnam joint cabinet meeting in October last year, the prime ministers of both countries agreed in principle to foster bilateral relationship to the level of “strategic partners.”
The issue was reiterated during last Thursday’s meeting of the two leaders.
Thai Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said Thailand looks forward to wrapping up the issue before the Vietnamese prime minister’s visit to Thailand later this year.
He stressed Thailand’s readiness to host the Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) which will be the major mechanism contributing to cooperation between Bangkok and Hanoi in every aspect.
The JCBC meeting should be held in September, he said.
The Vietnamese foreign minister has asked Thailand to approach fellow member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to take a common stand on the ongoing conflict in the South China Sea.
Vietnam is willing to cooperate in order to ease the tension and achieve the Code of Conduct (COC) for the South China Sea as soon as possible, he said.
The 19th meeting between ASEAN and Chinese high-level officials is scheduled for April 2 in Beijing.