Asean dept DG reinforces ties during retreat

Asean dept DG reinforces ties during retreat

Bolbongse Vangphaen, deputy director-general of the Department of Asean, has outlined discussions Thailand held with foreign ministers of Laos, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Cambodia during the Asean Foreign Ministers’ Retreat held in the Lao city of Luang Prabang on Sunday and Monday.

He said Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara met Saleumxay Kommasith, the Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister, on Monday.

Mr Bolbongse said the Thai side had shown its support for this year’s Laos chairmanship of the bloc.

He said Thailand also supported Laos’ agenda on sustainable development, adding that with Thailand as an Asean Coordinator for Sustainable Development Cooperation, both nations will arrange sustainable development-related activities such as seminars and conferences.

“Those activities may be a one-day event that we will discuss with our Laos counterpart.

“This activity will emphasise Thailand’s readiness to collaborate with others to achieve sustainable development goals,” Mr Bolbongse added.

Following the Thailand-Laos bilateral talks, Mr Parnpree talked to Retno Marsudi, Indonesia’s foreign affairs, in Luang Prabang on Monday.

Mr Parnpree told the Bangkok Post that the Indonesian and Thai governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding to import one million tonnes of Thai rice, which is in the process of being delivered.

Mr Parnpree also said his Indonesian counterpart also invited him to visit Indonesia.

After the retreat, Mr Pranpree met with Bui Thanh Son, the Vietnamese foreign affairs minister, to discuss preparation for high-level bilateral visits between the two nations.

Mr Pranpree also held discussions with Sok Chenda Sophea, Cambodia’s foreign affairs minister, regarding preparations for Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet’s visit to Thailand on Feb 7.