Myanmar, Thai mark 70 years of diplomatic relations

State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi delivers a speech at the ceremony to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Establishment of Myanmar -Thailand Diplomatic Relations in Nay Pyi Taw. photo: MNA
State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi delivers a speech at the ceremony to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Establishment of Myanmar -Thailand Diplomatic Relations in Nay Pyi Taw. photo: MNA

State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai attended a reception commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Myanmar and Thailand held at Ayeyawady Hall, M-Gallery, Sofitel Hotel, Nay Pyi Taw yesterday at 6:30 p.m.
The ceremony was also attended by Union Ministers U Kyaw Tint Swe, U Thaung Tun, U Thant Sin Maung, U Thein Swe, U Ohn Maung and U Kyaw Tin, Nay Pyi Taw Council Chairman Dr. Myo Aung, Deputy Ministers, Ambassador of Myanmar to Thailand U Myo Myint Than, Ambassador of Thailand to Myanmar H.E. Mr. Jukr Boon-Long, Directors-General from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, special guests and officials.
In her opening speech, the State Counsellor said,
“His Excellency Mr. Don Pramudwinai,
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand,
Excellencies, Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good evening. It is a great pleasure for us to jointly celebrate with Thailand the auspicious occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Myanmar and Thailand. I am happy and honoured that H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Foreign Minister of Thailand is present here today. I thank all our guests for joining us in our celebration of a long and valued friendship.
Thailand has always been one of our most important regional partners as well as a close neighbor of Myanmar. We sharea 2416 km long border, and we have been cooperating in various areas to the mutual benefit of our two peoples since the establishment of diplomatic relations on 24 August 1948. Throughout the 70-year journey, our two countries have resolved issues, large and small, through amicable dialogue and consultations, based on friendship, mutual understanding and mutual respect. Thailand was the very first country outside Myanmar on which I set foot after I was released from house arrest in 2010. Thailand was also the first country I chose for my first official visit abroad after the assumption of my official duties in our new Government. I felt the warmth of friendship, kindness and hospitality extended by the Government and people of Thailand during both visits. During my official visit to Thailand in June 2016, I had very constructive discussions with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha and felt that the good relationship between our countries had been further cemented.
I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that the relations between our two countries is better than it has ever been. The cordial and close engagement between our Governments, as well as through various bilateral cooperation mechanisms, have added new dimensions to an already existing understanding and trust.
Thailand is hosting millions of Myanmar migrant workers, providing employment opportunities, as well as experience for them. In return, Myanmar workers have been contributing to the development of the Thai economy. Our two countries have been coordinating and working together to ensure security, economy and mutually beneficial arrangements. We thank the Government of Thailand for the understanding and support offered to us and we are confident that the cooperation between Myanmar and Thailand will continue to become stronger and more comprehensive.
We always stand ready to help each other in times of need. Thailand provided technicians and necessary assistance when we had to cope with the assistance to the flood victims of Myanmar. We thank Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha and the Government of Thailand for the donation of 3 million Bahts in humanitarian assistance for those affected by the recent floods in Myanmar. It was with genuine metta that Myanmar, in our turn, offered volunteers and assistance to Thailand with regard to the rescue operation of the 13 young students trapped in a cave. Such understanding and goodwill between us is a vital part of our special, neighbourly relationship. We believe that what helps one helps the other. Our people have always appreciated the consistent support that Thailand has rendered to us in our efforts to achieve peace and national reconciliation.
We have also forged a very strong partnership in the contexts of ASEAN and in the international community in general. Positive Myanmar-Thailand relations contribute to regional progress and stability. We can now see the true potential of our relations and what it means for our two countries. By facing the challenges together, we find the best way of overcoming them.
I wish to congratulate once again, His Excellency Mr. Don Pramudwinai and through you, the people of Thailand, on the very successful 70-year journey that we have walked together.
We are gathered here this evening with our close friends and colleagues to cherish and to remember the achievements that our two countries have accomplished together over the last seventy years. We are determined to continue along the path that will brighten the friendship between our countries through the ages.
Thank you.”
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai then delivered a speech.
“… We are close in all aspects. There are always issues in our close affinity, whether we could still maintain the solidarity, the unity. Most recently, it’s always the question of centrality.” said the Thailand Foreign Minister.
Thailand has learned the hard way from the ASEAN inception in 1967, he added.
“All through those years, until now, there have been up and downs of whole experiences … we have gone through all those years. All through those years, Thailand initiated the constructive engagement with Myanmar because, we believe as close neighbors that the security of Myanmar is the security of Thailand. We share more than just the border … we share everything else and this is most apparent nowadays when we work together in all aspects, not just only in a regional ASEAN basis but most evidently in our bilateral relations,” he added.
The Thai Foreign Minister also expressed his delight for the Myanmar counterpart who are willing to engage with Thailand delegation in all aspects from the peace issue of the 21st century Panglong Conference, down to the issue of labour between Myanmar and Thailand.
“We share the border, we are very much alike, we feel almost exactly the same, we feel considerate at all times towards others. And more importantly, we know we are working towards the same destination, so we should feel natural with one other. So, this is the first time that Thailand has introduced this terminology of a natural strategic partnership with another country,” said Don Pradmudwinai.
“We have chosen this country as our first natural strategic partnership and I hope this is a great movement for Myanmar. But for us, we know that it is more than just special, it’s something that would really underscore the future of a new generation; the future of Thai and Myanmar,” said Don Pradmudwinai.
The Foreign Minister also underscored the relations between Thailand and Myanmar which have been stable and very firm, saying that today is even more so because the two countries were able to forge both countries and bilateral relations with people to a new height.
Afterwards, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Union Ministers and guests had dinner together.
During the dinner, Myanmar-Thailand cultural troupes performed traditional dances and songs and State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai presented floral baskets to the Myanmar-Thailand cultural troupes. — Myanmar News Agency

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