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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs    15 January 2015  

Thai Defense Minister visits Vietnam to strengthen ties

Thai Defense Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwon is on an official visit to Vietnam which began yesterday and ends tomorrow, aiming to strengthen ties between the two countries.
The Defense Minister, along with his entourage, including, Permanent Secretary of Defense Gen Sirichai Distakul arrived in Vietnam on Tuesday on the invitation by the Vietnamese Defense Ministry.
During the three-day visit, Gen Prawit, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, was scheduled to pay a courtesy call on Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, as well as Defense Minister Gen Phung Quang Thanh during the visit.
The main objectives of the visit are to strengthen the bilateral relationship  and continue discussions begun in the previous official visit of Thai Prime Minister Gen Prayuth Chan-o-cha.
The Thai and Vietnamese sides were expected to discuss bilateral military cooperation under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in 2012.
The MoU stipulates cooperation on national defense, intelligence, joint military exercises, humanitarian aids, peacekeeping, military science and technology, among others.
Both sides were also expected to discuss cooperation on logistics and transportation, along with the initiation of special economic zones along the two neighbours' borders in line with the Thai government's policy, and to bolster cooperation on national stability in order to better develop the lives of the people in border areas along side the development of the region's stability.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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