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Security Issues To Figure In Malaysia – Thailand Annual Consultation

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BANGKOK – The sixth Malaysia-Thailand Annual Consultation here Friday is expected to discuss several security issues, among them human trafficking, border security and the unrest in southern Thailand.

The discussions are expected to cover also economic, industrial, trade, educational and cultural issues, said Malaysia’s Ambassador to Thailand Datuk Nazirah Hussain.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will lead a Malaysian delegation of seven Cabinet ministers to the meeting while his Thai counterpart Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha will head the Thai side.

Najib is expected to arrive in this Thai capital Thursday evening after attending the ASEAN summits in Vientiane, Laos.

“Tomorrow’s Malaysia-Thailand Annual Consultation is important for the top leaders and senior officials to strengthen relations and cooperation between the two neighbours,” Nazirah told Malaysian journalists Thursday.

The talks will take place at Government House Friday evening, and the two prime ministers are expected to hold a joint press conference afterwards. Nazirah said the unrest in southern Thailand would figure in the discussions.

Malaysia plays the role of facilitator in the informal peace talks between the Government of Thailand and MARA Patani, which represents six militant groups in southern Thailand.

Nazirah said economic and bilateral trade issues would also be discussed at length at the talks.

Thailand is Malaysia’s fifth largest trading partner, she said, adding that bilateral trade volume reached US$22 billion (RM88.8 billion) in 2015 and the two countries were striving to raise it to US$30 billion (RM121 billion) in 2017. -BERNAMA

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