Vietnam's Foreign Minister Nguyen Duy Trinh, on the last stop of a tour of South East Asia, on Tuesday (10 January) had an audience with King Bhumibol of Thailand.
Vietnam's Foreign Minister Nguyen Duy Trinh, on the last stop of a tour of South East Asia, on Tuesday (10 January) had an audience with King Bhumibol of Thailand. An audience with the king is not routine for visiting ministers, and indicates the importance Thailand attaches to improved relations with its Communist neighbour. Earlier in the day it was announced that Vietnam and Thailand had agreed in principle to begin trade, economic and technical relations.
SYNOPSIS: The Vietnamese Foreign Minister, whose tour also covered Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, arrived at Bangkok's Don Muang airport on Monday (9 January). The high-ranking welcoming party included the Thai Foreign Minister, Dr. Upadit Pachariyangkun, who was later to have lengthy talks with his Vietnamese counterpart. Mr. Nguyen Duy Trinh did not come alone on his four-day trip. The 18-man delegation which has been with him on his tour includes Vietnam's Vice Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Agriculture, and other top government officials.
Mr. Nguyen Duy Trinh said at the airport that both Vietnam and Thailand hoped to establish good neighbourly relations based on the principles of peaceful coexistence. He supported last month's agreement between the two countries to implement an earlier accord to establish diplomatic relations and exchange ambassadors. He said that such a move fitted the prevailing tendency in South East Asia towards peace, independence and neutrality.
The Vietnamese delegation went on to Government House in Bangkok where Thailand's Prime Minister, General Kriangsak Chamanand, made a goodwill presentation. Mr. Nguyen Duy Trinh is the highest-ranking Vietnamese official to visit Thailand since the end of the Vietnam war nearly three years ago. The war was followed by a further period of tension until General Kriangsak came to power at the end of last year, since when relations have continued to improve.