SUNDAY, April 21, 2024

Politics on the agenda during Paetongtarn’s visit to Cambodia in March: Pheu Thai

Politics on the agenda during Paetongtarn’s visit to Cambodia in March: Pheu Thai

Pheu Thai leader Paetongtarn Shinawatra has accepted former Cambodian PM Hun Sen’s invitation and will go to his country on an official visit next month, the party said.

Sorawong Thienthong, Pheu Thai’s secretary-general, said on Saturday that Hun Sen invited Paetongtarn in his capacity as president of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP).

Paetongtarn was invited in her capacity as Thailand’s ruling party’s chief and is expected to exchange views with leading CPP figures regarding the development of both countries, Sorawong said.

During her visit to Cambodia on March 18-19, Paetongtarn is expected to focus on matters involving Pheu Thai and CPP, and not about running the country.

“However, if things go as planned, we will see a joint meeting of the two Cabinets this year. That meeting will discuss government affairs,” he said.

When asked if Pheu Thai was planning to boost cooperation between Thailand and Cambodia for further national development, he said nothing had been discussed on the matter.

In a letter dated February 23 addressed to Hun Sen as CPP president and her “beloved uncle”, Paetongtarn said: “I've learned that the great cooperation between our two parties has contributed benefits to both our countries and the people. As the head of the Pheu Thai Party, I would like to continue strengthening our parties' great ties and cooperations, especially on politics, economics and people-to-people.”

Saying she was honoured by the invitation, Paetongtarn ended the letter by wishing Hun Sen “good health, great wealth, prosperity and long loved by your people”.

Politics on the agenda during Paetongtarn’s visit to Cambodia in March: Pheu Thai

Hun Sen had served as Cambodia’s prime minister for more than three decades before handing the reins to his son, Hun Manet, in August last year.

Paetongtarn, one of Pheu Thai’s three prime ministerial candidates, holds no ministerial seat in the government led by Srettha Thavisin, who was nominated by the party to become Thailand’s 30th PM.

She was appointed as deputy chair of the government’s national committee to promote Thai soft power. This committee is chaired by the prime minister.

Paetongtarn is the youngest daughter of former PM Thaksin Shinawatra, who is regarded as the patriarch of the ruling party.

On Wednesday, Hun Sen was the first foreign dignitary to visit Thaksin after he was released on parole Sunday. They met at the Shinawatra family’s mansion, Ban Chan Song La, on Bangkok’s Charan Sanitwong Road.

Thaksin flew back to Thailand on a private jet on August 22, ending 15 years of self-imposed exile overseas. Less than 24 hours after landing on Thai soil, he was sent from Bangkok Remand Prison to the Police General Hospital for the treatment of unidentified health issues. He stayed at the hospital for 180 days until his release on parole on February 18.