Yesterday, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian hosted Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, Don Pramudwinai.
Mr. Le Drian welcomed Mr. Pramudwinai’s participation in the Ministerial Forum for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, which was organized by France as part of its presidency of the EU Council and reaffirmed the European partners’ commitment to strengthening ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) through concrete cooperation. He reiterated the desire expressed by France, as an ASEAN Development Partner, to join two working groups of the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting-Plus (ADMM+) as an observer. This initiative enjoys broad support within ASEAN.
France has longstanding relations with Thailand, which is home to Asia’s second-largest French community. To express their common commitment to expanding these ties, the two ministers signed a roadmap for French-Thai relations covering the period of 2022-2024. It will pave the way for strengthened cooperation in such areas as innovation, biodiversity and health. In keeping with France’s vaccine solidarity policy, a donation of 400,000 doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine will soon be delivered to Thailand.
Lastly, Mr. Le Drian expressed his deep concern over the deteriorating situation in Burma. He reaffirmed France’s support for ASEAN’s efforts to resolve the crisis and the need to fully implement the five-point consensus, including the establishment of a political dialogue incorporating all stakeholders and the urgent need for safe, unhindered humanitarian access to affected areas. He also underscored the key role that Thailand could play in the humanitarian response to the crisis.