Srettha, Anwar discuss deep South peace process among other bilateral issues
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin discussed with his Malaysian counterpart, Anwar Ibrahim, various issues of mutual interest, including the peace process in Thailand’s restive Muslim-majority deep South.
Their first meeting since Srettha assumed office last month took place in New York on Thursday (Sept 21) evening, on the sidelines of the 78th United Nations General Assembly.
The 30-minute meeting was also attended by government ministers and delegations from both countries, Malaysian media reported on Friday.
PM Srettha welcomed Malaysia’s support for the peace process and the development of Thailand’s southern border region, government spokesperson Chai Wacharonke said after the meeting.
“The [Thai] government will follow up and work closely on this collaboration. The two countries will push for cooperation in dealing with security-related challenges, including narcotics,” the spokesman said.
He also said that Srettha had accepted Anwar’s invitation to visit Malaysia “at the earliest opportunity”. The Thai side also suggested a dialogue of business leaders from both countries to promote mutual trade and investment, according to the spokesman.
Anwar said in a social media post that the meeting was a good opportunity for both countries to boost bilateral ties.
“This meeting provides opportunities to strengthen existing cooperation while exploring various new forms of collaboration to enhance Malaysia-Thailand relations,” Malaysia’s The Star newspaper quoted Anwar as saying.
“Besides discussing ways to strengthen our bilateral ties, we also spoke on various issues, including borders, the peace process in southern Thailand, and other regional issues of mutual interest,” said Anwar, as reported by the Malay Mail.
On August 23, Anwar congratulated Srettha on being elected the new prime minister of Thailand.
In their phone conversation, Anwar had also invited Srettha to visit Malaysia in the near future to strengthen ties between the two countries.
“Hopefully the relationship between Malaysia and Thailand will continue to be strengthened for mutual benefit,” the Malaysian leader posted on his Facebook page.