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Pakistanand Thailand agreed, yesterday (25 May 2009), to comprehensively expand bilateral cooperation across the political, trade, economic, commercial, energy, education and cultural fields. This was decided during the meeting between Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and the Foreign Minister of Thailand, Mr. Kasit Piromya, held on the sidelines of the 9th ASEM Foreign Ministers Meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam.

The two sides shared the view that immense potential existed not only in further broadening and deepening bilateral cooperation in various fields but also in benefiting from each other’s strategic location to undertake collaborative ventures in third regions.

While emphasizing Pakistan’s desire for building a comprehensive economic partnership with Thailand, the Foreign Secretary stressed the importance of forging regional linkages and promoting trans-regional development cooperation. In this context, he particularly emphasized Pakistan’s objective of Full Dialogue Partnership as well as higher-level political relationship and economic integration with the ASEAN community.

The Foreign Secretary also apprised the Thai Foreign Minister of Pakistan’s participation in various trilateral initiatives to promote stability in Afghanistan and advance the trans-regional development agenda. The central theme of this engagement, he stressed, was to enhance regional connectivity through trade and energy corridors and infrastructure development with a view to maximizing the economic potential of the region.

The Thai Foreign Minister reciprocated the commitment to up-grade the overall bilateral relationship, with a particular emphasis on a strong economic partnership. He identified cooperation in the fields of food processing, bio-technology and textiles as possible avenues for expanded economic collaboration. He noted that the two countries could also work to promote trilateral cooperation through projects in Central Asia, the Gulf, and South Asia.

It was agreed to schedule bilateral Political Consultations at an early date and hold the next meeting under the MoU on Combating Terrorism. The two sides also agreed to intensify mutual collaboration in regional organizations and multilateral fora.

Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir is visiting Hanoi at the head of the Pakistan delegation to the 9th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ meeting.

26 May 2009

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