PM: Deferred visit to Myanmar not linked with border issue

BANGKOK, 22 July 2010 (NNT) – Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has dismissed speculated relationship between his postponed official visit to the Union of Myanmar and the Mae Sot border closure in the western province of Tak.

The Prime Minister explained that the visit deferment was resulted from busy schedules between leaders of both countries, and had nothing to do with the border closure issue or Myanmar’s uncomfortable attitude towards Thailand’s dyke construction near the common border.

Prime Minister Abhisit also played down the rumor that Myanmar people were upset with Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya. He then confirmed healthy relationship between the two countries with good cooperation thus far.

The official visit of the Thai Prime Minister to the Union of Myanmar has been rescheduled twice. The first was made by the Thai government and the second by Myanmar officials.

As for the issue regarding the dyke near the bridge connecting the border, the Prime Minister said there was no construction at present and Myanmar officials were already informed.

Prime Minister Abhisit believed that an understanding would be made between panels of both sides. He voiced his confidence that the border would be opened again soon.

Thai PM hopes Myanmar to re-open Mae Sot-Myawaddy border checkpoint soon

BANGKOK, July 22  — Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Thursday said he believed Myanmar would soon re-open the Mae Sot-Myawaddy border checkpoint after Myanmar received information about and better understands Thailand’s river bank protection construction project on the Mae Sot side of the Moei River.

Meanwhile, the postponement of his Myanmar visit indefinitely would not affect bilateral ties as the two countries are enjoying strong relations, the Thai prime minister said.

Border trade and transport at the Mae Sot-Myawaddy border was suspended after Myanmar officials shut the border at the Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge crossing the Moei River and at over 20 cross-border trading ports along the river July 12.

It is believed that the Myanmar authorities were unhappy with Thailand’s building river bank protection on the Thai side because the construction caused soil and rocks to fall into the river.

Mr Abhisit said the project was ordered to be suspended and information on the project was sent to Myanmar’s authorities and from now on the two sides would hold talks under the framework of the Thai-Myanmar Township Border Committee (TBC).

The premier said Thailand would like Myanmar to re-open the border first and believed Myanmar will do so soon and after that the processes to improve understanding will start and information would be conveyed to the Myanmar government in Naypyidaw for decision to open the border.

He said Myanmar and Thailand are both concerned about their own river banks and worry that any construction could affect the river’s course and the border line. Thailand, therefore, decided to stop the project and hold talks for clarification.

As for his official visit to Myanmar, Mr Abhisit said the scheduled plan had to be postponed as both sides could not find the compromised time schedule that could match up. Continue reading “Thai PM hopes Myanmar to re-open Mae Sot-Myawaddy border checkpoint soon”