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The Foreign Minister / Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, Mr. Surapong Tovichakchaikul, is on an official visit to Pakistan from 9-11 January 2013 at the invitation of Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar, the Foreign Minister of Pakistan. Today, Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul called on the Prime Minister and held talks with Foreign Minister Khar.

The two Foreign Ministers held in-depth discussion on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest. They also discussed the ways and means to further expand and deepen these relations in various areas.

Foreign Minister Khar recalled the highly successful visit of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn to Pakistan in March 2012. Her visit opened a new chapter in the history of Royal visits from Thailand to Pakistan.

The two Foreign Ministers expressed satisfaction at the current state of bilateral relations. They emphasized the need to enhance cooperation in the fields of trade, investments, education, tourism, science & technology, security, counternarcotics, people-to-people contacts and defence.

The Ministers recognized that Pakistan’s “Vision East Asia” and Thailand’s “Look West” policy complemented each other. Further, the geographical location of Pakistan and Thailand in South Asia and East Asia, respectively, was a major factor that could contribute to the enhancement of bilateral trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.

The two sides expressed satisfaction at the current volume of bilateral trade which had crossed US $ 1 billion mark. They looked forward to the visit of the Thai Commerce Minister to Pakistan in February this year for the inaugural session of the Joint Trade Committee (JTC).

The Foreign Minister of Thailand welcomed Pakistan’s decision to host the 3rd Session of Pakistan-Thailand Joint Economic Commission in Islamabad later this year.

The two sides noted the strong cultural linkage between Pakistan and Thailand. Being home to a number of Buddhist sites and Gandhara civilization, Pakistan is a natural source of attraction for religious tourists from Thailand. The Pakistan side expressed interest in holding a Gandhara Exhibition in Thailand in collaboration with the Thai Government. The idea was welcomed by the Thai side.

The two Foreign Ministers expressed satisfaction over cooperation in the regional and international forums such as the ACD, ASEM, ARF, ASEAN and the United Nations. Foreign Minister Khar requested Thailand for its continued support to Pakistan’s bid for Full Dialogue Partnership with ASEAN.

The Pakistan side reiterated its invitation to Her Excellency Yingluck Shinawatra, the Prime Minister of Thailand to visit Pakistan.

The Thai delegation will visit Taxila and places of interest in Islamabad.

10 January 2013

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