Thai-Cambodian Joint Commission meet opens Tuesday


BANGKOK, Dec 21 – Thai and Cambodian foreign ministers will meet in Bangkok on Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss, among other topics, development of overland links between the two countries.

Damrong Kraikruan, director general of the Thai Foreign Ministry’s East Asia Department, said the 8th Thai-Cambodian Joint Commission will be co-chaired by Thai Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul and his Cambodian counterpart Hor Namhong, both of whom agreed that the meeting is necessary after a two-year recess.

High on the agenda is discussion on opening more land connections between Thailand and Cambodia, including development of Route 48 from Thailand’s Trat province to Cambodia’s Sihanoukville, a land bridge from Sa Kaeo province, and a railway extension from Aranyaprathet checkpoint on Thailand’s eastern border.

Mr Surapong also planned to discuss with Mr Hor Namhong the problem of illegal logging of Siamese rosewood on the border and the possibility of signing a memorandum of understanding on single visa under the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS).

ACMECS is a cooperation framework among Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam to use member countries’ diverse strengths and to promote balanced development in the subregion.

Mr Hor Namhong is scheduled to pay a courtesy call on Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Tuesday afternoon.