Cabinet OKs visa waivers for Thailand, Myanmar

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BANGKOK, Oct 22 – The Thai Cabinet has approved the signing of a bilateral agreement on visa exemptions between Thailand and Myanmar, as proposed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Government Spokesperson Teerat Ratanasevi said on Tuesday that the visa waiver programme allows a reciprocal 14-day visa exemption for ordinary passport holders and a free entrance at 23 airports in Thailand and Myanmar.

Both countries, however, have the right to deny entry without prior notice, and the programme can be temporarily suspended for national security and public health reasons with notification through diplomatic channels at least 15 days in advance. The agreement will be enforced unless either party notifies the other of its intent to terminate the agreement via diplomatic channels. Notification shall be given at least 60 days in advance.

Mr Teerat said the Cabinet has also assigned the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to proceed with the agreement without Cabinet deliberations.

The visa exemption policy should come into effect at the time Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra attends the Myanmar 2013 SEA Games opening on December 11 and 12.