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Thai PM due in Manila today


November 10, 2008

Thai PM due in Manila today
Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat is scheduled to arrive in Manila, Philippines, today for a day-long state visit, in the course of his familiarisation tour around Asia, reported a local daily.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will meet the new Thai leader in Malacañang, the Presidential Palace, reported the Manila Bulletin. They are expected to forge a closer cooperation in mitigating the impact of the global financial slowdown in the region before she departs for a working visit to the United States tonight.

They will also discuss other issues and concerns to bolster relations between the two Southeast Asian neighbours.

Prime Minister Somchai, brother-in-law of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, will be accorded full military arrival honors in Malacanang. This will be followed by talks with President Arroyo and her Cabinet.

During his meeting with Arroyo, Somchai is expected to highlight the 60th anniversary of the relationship between the two Asian neighbors, according to the Public Relations Department of the Kingdom of Thailand. The two leaders will also tackle other issues, including cooperation in trading, investment, tourism, energy, and the military.

Somchai’s visit comes amid reports that former Thai leader Thaksin may seek political asylum in the Philippines after his visa was revoked by Britain, where he is currently staying. Philippine authorities have denied that they have received an asylum request from Thaksin.

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