Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Van Dong arrived in Bangkok on Wednesday (6 September) to begin an official visit.
GV ZOOM IN Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Van Dong down aircraft steps greeted by Thai Prime Minister Kriangsak Chamanand
SV Pham Van Dong meets military personnel
SV Police on duty as crowds look on
SV Dong and Kriangsak enter car and car leaving (2 shots)
GV Government House in Bangkok
SV INTERIOR Dong signs guest book and shakes hands with Kriangsak
GV ZOOM OUT Two leaders seated with other ministers in hall
The main subject under discussion between the two Prime Minister is likely to be the repatriation of Vietnamese refugees, many of whom have been in Thailand for 25 or 30 years. Despite previous successful negotiations and agreement on this issue, reports say few of the refugees are likely to want to return to Vietnam.
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Background: Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Van Dong arrived in Bangkok on Wednesday (6 September) to begin an official visit. It was his first visit to a member country of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN), a grouping that has been firmly opposed by Hanoi until fairly recently.
SYNOPSIS: Prime Minister Dong arrived at Don Muang airport to crowds of welcoming students. The terminal was decorated with Thai and Vietnamese flags and welcoming placards in the languages of the two countries. He was greeted by Thai Prime Minister Kriangsak Chamanand.
Mr. Dong was introduced to other members of the government. His visit has been interpreted as a fresh bid by Hanoi to court friendship among the non-Communist countries of Southeast Asia.
Cambodia, involved in a border dispute with Vietnam and strongly backed in its feud by China, commented bitterly on Mr. Dong's visit to Thailand. They said Vietnam was trying to expand its influence not only over Cambodia, but over all countries in Southeast Asia.
Mr. Dong was taken to Government House in Bangkok where he signed the guest book. He has been pushing for a peace and friendship treaty with Thailand but the Thai's have so far resisted saying they would not sign such an agreement without consultation with the other countries in ASEAN. He said that his current visit "is aimed at strengthening the bonds of friendship and long-term co-operation in various fields between Vietnam and Thailand, two neighbouring countries." He held talks with General Kriangsak later in the day.