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Thailand and Burma have agreed to set up a committee to examine related documents in preparation for the repatriation of war refugees residing on the Thai side of their common border.
Thai Defence Ministry spokesman Maj Gen Kongcheep Tantrawanich said the agreement was reached during the visit to Burma by Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon.
Gen Prawit and his entourage arrived in Burma on Wednesday for a two-day visit.
On his arrival, Gen Prawit paid a courtesy call on Lt Gen Sein Win, Burmese’s defence minister, and Gen Min Aung Hlaing, commander-in-chief of Burma’s armed forces.
The two sides discussed ways of increasing military relations and security cooperation. They agreed to increase exchanges of visits and training of armed forces personnel in various levels.
They also discussed problems over their common border, war refugees, illegal immigration, transnational crime, terrorism, cross-border smuggling of contraband and drugs.
The two sides agreed to set up a joint committee to take concrete measures to solve these security-related problems.
Gen Prawit also met with Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma’s foreign minister and state counsellor. Suu Kyi thanked Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha for his warm welcome during her recent visit to Thailand.
They talked about cooperation in border demarcation, handling of war refugees, joint cooperation in the development of the Dawei economic development zone, the development of police affairs, and welfare for Burmese migrant workers in Thailand.
Concerning the Burmese war refugees now residing along the Thai side of the common border, they agreed to set up a committee to jointly examine related documents to prepare for their repatriation in the future.
Suu Kyi stressed that she wanted Thai-Burmese relations to be a model for cooperation for other countries sharing a common border. They agreed on the importance of the development of human resources and conservation of natural resources.
During Gen Prawit’s meeting with Burmese President Htin Kyaw, they agreed that Suu Kyi’s recent visit to Thailand signifies the tight relationship between Thailand and Burma.
Htin Kyaw was full of praise for HRH Princess Sirindhorn for her donation to repair schools in Arakan State that were damaged by heavy storms last year.
They agreed that a new bridge to be built between Karen State’s Myawaddy Township and Thailand’s Mae Sot District, linking to the Asian Highway, will help expand their trade and investment relations and connect special economic zones on both sides of the border.
The bridge is expected to play an important part in lifting the quality of the life of people in the two countries, said Maj Gen Kongcheep.