Prayut invites Putin for visit after election

Prayut invites Putin for visit after election

Calls for integration at 3-day Brics summit

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha holds talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the 9th Brics Summit in Xiamen, China. Government House photo
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha holds talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the 9th Brics Summit in Xiamen, China. Government House photo

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday invited Russia's President Vladimir Putin for an official visit next year after the Russian presidential election.

During a bilateral meeting with the Russian leader, Gen Prayut also invited Russians to invest in the Eastern Economic Corridor infrastructure, according to a Government House source.

He did not give a more precise date for the visit.

The prime minister also highlighted Thailand as the centre of Asean as he proposed ways to push forward regional development at the three-day Brics summit in Xiamen, China, which ended yesterday.

"For mutual benefit, Thailand is ready to join hands and be a partner with every country to push for a strategic partnership in planning for integrated infrastructure together. This will really benefit countries' integration at the regional and inter-regional levels," he said.

The key is to develop using one's domestic strengths as a springboard, he said.

Gen Prayut presented guidelines in accordance with the sufficiency economy philosophy of His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej and discussed infrastructure development and national reform.

He also emphasised the importance of sustainable growth and environmental protection, while noting that differences in economic and social conditions among countries means cooperation must be flexible and considerate of what their partners can contribute.

The Brics Summit involves the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Host China invited five other countries as guests.

In addition to Thailand these included Egypt, representing the Middle East, Tajikistan, G20 member Mexico, and Guinea as the chair of the African Union.

Besides the talks with China's Xi Jinping and Mr Putin, Gen Prayut also met Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon.

Both leaders are happy with their 25 years of diplomatic ties, said deputy government spokesman Werachon Sukondhapatipak.

But given the significant scope to ramp up trade they agreed to hold more meetings, he said.

Mr Rahmon called for more cooperation in areas where Thailand is considered to have expertise, such as tourism and agriculture, and the Thai side promised to share information on organic farming and food processing, Lt Gen Werachon said.

Tajikistan is also interested in Thailand's experience in poverty eradication, the spokesman said.

Gen Prayut suggested they base their development on the sufficiency economy concept and further cooperation between state and private sectors, he added.

On Monday, two cooperation contracts for the Sino-Thai high-speed train project were signed at the summit during the meeting between Gen Prayut and President Xi.

They discussed the design of the rail project from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima and how the scheme will be supervised.

The two leaders inked two more deals covering the Joint Plan of Action on Thailand-China Strategic Cooperation and a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation within the Framework of Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiative.

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