Saudi Arabia and Thailand hold first high-level meeting in 30 years

Visit of Prayut Chan-ocha highlights willingness to increase bilateral trade and co-operation

Thailand's prime minister arrived in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday for the first high-level meeting in 30 years. AP

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met Thailand’s Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-ocha in Riyadh on Tuesday.

It is the first high-level meeting between top officials from the countries in three decades.

An official ceremony was held for Mr Chan-ocha at Al Yamama palace in the Saudi capital.

The two officials “exchanged views, consulted and co-ordinated on many issues to achieve the common interest of the two friendly countries,” the Saudi Press Agency said in a statement.

The visit portrays the kingdom’s “keenness to strengthen joint relations and build bridges of communication with all countries around the world,” it said.

Prince Mohammed hosted a luncheon banquet in honour of Mr Chan-ocha.

“The visit comes after consultations that resulted in convergence of views on many issues of common concern,” the state-owned news agency said.

The two countries have increased trade significantly in recent years, with the kingdom exporting $4.9 billion worth of goods to Thailand before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thailand has exported over $2 billion worth of goods to Saudi Arabia, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation.

Updated: January 25, 2022, 7:27 PM