EU Ambassador Pirkka Tapiola and the Ambassadors of EU Member States accredited to Thailand on 16 July met the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, H.E. Mrs. Busaya Mathelin.
“Bilateral relations, which hold great potential for increased political and economic cooperation, were discussed in the fruitful meeting,” reported the Embassy of Finland in Bangkok, represented by Chargée d’Affaires Katarina Tapio.
“EU Ambassador Pirkka Tapiola reiterated the importance of holding credible, transparent and inclusive elections, and the urgent lifting of restrictions on activities of political parties and on the freedoms of expression and assembly.”
During the meeting, both sides reaffirmed their good and long-standing relations as well the enormous potential for increased partnership, both economically and politically. The European Union is Thailand’s third largest partner in terms of both trade and investment, stated the Delegation of the European Union to Thailand
The EU and Member State Ambassadors welcomed the Permanent Secretary outlining Thailand’s vision for the future Thailand-EU relationship and providing an up-date on the domestic political situation in Thailand.
The EU Ambassador recalled the December 2017 Council Conclusions adopted by the EU’s 28 Foreign Ministers that note the steps taken so far in implementing the roadmap to democracy and reiterate the importance of holding credible, transparent and inclusive elections in order to return to a democratic form of governance. In this context, the EU side also emphasised the importance of an urgent lifting of restrictions on activities of political parties and on the freedoms of expression and assembly.
The EU and Member State Ambassadors jointly expressed deep disappointment regarding the execution of Theerasak Longji on 18 June, which marks a regrettable step backwards. The Ambassadors called on the Royal Thai Government to refrain from any future executions, and work towards a moratorium and the eventual abolishing of the death penalty, as the government has previously stated.
The Permanent Secretary set out Thai priorities for their upcoming Chairmanship of Asean in 2019. The EU representatives expressed great appreciation for the highly constructive role played by Thailand as country coordinator for EU-ASEAN Dialogue Relations over the past three years and committed to support Thailand’s Chairmanship in view of further strengthening relations between the European Union and Asean.
The European Union and its Member States will continue to work with Thailand as a friend and close partner and stand ready to support the Kingdom on its path to democracy, including through EU election observation, stated the EU delegation.
Sources: Embassy of Finland in Bangkok, Delegation of the European Union to Thailand