Thai-Saudi pacts set to enhance relations

Three memorandums of understanding (MoUs) on strengthening relations between Thailand and Saudi Arabia will be signed during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit, deputy government spokesman Rachada Dhnadirek said on Tuesday.

The three MoUs will be signed by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, His Royal Highness Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, during his official visit to Thailand for the Nov 18-19 summit.

Ms Rachada said the cabinet gave the green light to all three MoU drafts.

The first MoU will see Thailand aim to cooperate with Saudi Arabia in political affairs and security issues, such as waiving visa checks for holders of diplomatic, special and official passports and finding a potential location for the establishment of a Saudi embassy in Bangkok.

Thailand will also provide economic support in the energy sector and focus on the export of products including construction materials, petrochemicals, food and retail products, as well as exchange investment information and labour recruitment agreements, she said.

Both sides will also expedite the appointment of ambassadors from each country to restore bilateral relations including cultural exchanges and sports collaboration.

Ms Rachada said the second MoU seeks to create an understanding on the establishment of a cooperation council which will be chaired by the foreign affairs ministers of both countries.

The council will try to cooperate on all relevant aspects including the formation of a working panel and the issuance of regulations aimed at not interfering with the rights of each country.

The third MoU will strengthen investment opportunities through the exchange of information about investment, business openings and relevant laws, she said.

Ms Rachada said both sides would implement the necessary measures to provide investors with sufficient protection as stipulated in the agreement, which each of them to be responsible for their own expenses when proceeding with the MoUs.

Ties between the two kingdoms stalled during the 1980s and were renewed in late January this year following Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s visit to Riyadh.

During the visit, Gen Prayut and Thai officials with their counterparts discussed a roadmap for bilateral relations.

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