Myanmar visit was about humanitarian aid, FM says

Myanmar visit was about humanitarian aid, FM says

Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai
Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai

Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai on Thursday told the House of Representatives that his recent visit to Myanmar was to oversee the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Addressing Pheu Thai MP Sutin Klungsang's questions about his Nov 14 trip, Mr Don said he was there to deliver 15 tonnes of aid, including medical supplies donated by 17 private organisations, local and international, to Myanmar people in need.

A further two tonnes will be delivered at a later date, he said. Among the donors were Unicef, the WHO and the Mae Fa Luang Foundation.

He said Thailand was approached to coordinate with Myanmar over the visit and the delivery of aid.

"After a meeting with the United States, Thailand was also asked by fellow Asean countries and the international community to help," he said.

Mr Don said the visit was done for humanitarian reasons and the national interest, citing Myanmar and Thailand's shared 2,400-kilometre border.

The minister denied that the Thai government had donated Covid-19 vaccines to Myanmar. He said any such vaccine donation would have to be acknowledged by the Cabinet and vaccine manufacturers.

Responding to Mr Sutin's observation that Mr Don's visit could give legitimacy to the military junta that overthrew the elected government in February, he said constructive efforts could be pursued in the face of conflict and that his talks with Myanmar had been positive and productive.

Mr Don brushed aside criticism that Thailand was not invited to attend the Summit for Democracy hosted by the United States next month as a result of his visit.

"It's not unusual. And sometimes we're glad we aren't on the invitation list," he said. "If we get an invitation, we have to decide if we should accept. In many cases, it's a double-edged sword."

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