Sun, December 05, 2021

in-focus

Foreign Ministry denies ordering removal of Free Palestine banner in Bangkok


The Foreign Ministry on Friday clarified that the removal of the “Free Palestine” banner near Sathu Pradit Expressway in Bangkok was not done on the orders of the ministry.

A giant banner with the Palestinian flag along with the message “Free Palestine” was reportedly seen covering a billboard near the expressway on June 3. No group has claimed responsibility for the banner until it was later removed by the billboard owner. Rumours then emerged that the Foreign Ministry had forced the owner to take it down, fearing that it could affect international relations.

“Thailand has been advocating peace talks between Israel and Palestine under the two-state solution approach in which both countries can coexist peacefully and with mutually accepted borders in the Middle East,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Thani Saengrat said. “We also promote a non-violent approach and hope that both countries would start peace negotiations again in an appropriate environment.”

Thani added that Thailand had officially acknowledged Palestine as a state on January 17, 2012 and started diplomatic relations with Palestine since August 1, 2012.

“For nine years, Thailand and Palestine have maintained a positive relationship. The Palestinian president visited Thailand as a government guest in 2016, while Thailand donated US$30,000 to help Palestine fight the Covid-19 outbreak on June 23, 2020,” he said.

Thani added that Thailand had also maintained academic and development cooperation with Palestine at bilateral and multi-lateral levels, including providing academic training through Thailand International Cooperation Agency, hosting the Conference on Cooperation among East Asian Countries for Palestinian Development in 2018, and donating to United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East at US$40,000 per year since 1978 under a multi-year pledge.

Published : June 12, 2021

By : THE NATION