PM making official introductory visit to Indonesia


BANGKOK, Sept 12 — Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Monday departed Bangkok for Indonesia on a one day official visit–her first to Jakarta–to strengthen bilateral ties between the two members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Ms Yingluck and her entourage left Bangkok at 5.45am from Don Mueang Royal Thai Air Force Base, Wing 6 to visit Indonesia, the current chair of ASEAN.

Upon arrival, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was scheduled to receive her in an official welcoming ceremony before both leaders would have a full discussion on bilateral cooperation.

Both sides are expected to discuss a wide range of cooperation in various fields including politics, security, economy, social concerns and culture, and future cooperation as strategic partners.

In the past, Thailand and Indonesia had strong and close relationships in all dimensions, especially the cooperation within ASEAN framework.

It was expected that Ms Yingluck’s introductory visit will strengthen the already good bilateral ties and that they will take this opportunity to follow up cooperation and explore mutual interests in collaboration.

The premier will also thank Indonesia for coordinating and supporting the process to find a peaceful solution to the border dispute between Thailand and Cambodia, and for being an Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) member country that has supported and helped imrpove international understanding on the resolution of violence in Thailand’s three southernmost provinces–Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala.

President Yudhoyono will host a luncheon to honour Ms Yingluck before the premier returns to Thailand. Her return to Bangkok is scheduled at 6pm.

Thailand established diplomatic ties with Indonesia in 1950 and celebrated the 60th anniversary of relations in 2010.

Ms Yingluck began her whirlwind tours to four ASEAN countries on Saturday with travel to Brunei where she had an audience with Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and had bilateral discussions.

During the audience and discussion, they exchanged opinions on Thai-Brunei relations and bilateral cooperation. Both agreed that their countries had potential to cooperate in various areas,

especially agriculture, halal Muslim food industries, energy and labour.

The premier is scheduled to visit Cambodia on Thursday and Laos on Friday.