YANGON (AFP) – Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha arrived in Myanmar Thursday in his first overseas foray since grabbing power in a coup, as he seeks to redouble economic ties with the kingdom’s emerging neighbour.
The Thai junta ruler is set for talks with fellow former general President Thein Sein, who swapped his uniform three years ago for civilian clothes as Myanmar shrugged off full military rule.
Prayuth, who retired as army chief last month, is chasing international legitimacy for an administration which has suspended Thailand’s democracy and imposed sweeping curbs on dissent since toppling the elected government on May 22.
Before departing for the Myanmar capital Naypyidaw, the premier said he would broach a wide range of topics during the visit – from strengthening regional body Asean to migration.
“We have to reduce distrust and contain small problems, reduce red tape, reduce border conflicts,” Prayuth told reporters at Bangkok’s military airport.
The two leaders will also discuss issues including kick-starting the stalled Dawei deep-sea port project and the cross-border drug trade, government spokesman Yongyuth Mayalarap told AFP earlier.