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Cablegate: Thai Prime Minister Briefly Visits Vietnam

VZCZCXRO4925
RR RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHHI #2779 3040955
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 310955Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3872
INFO RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH 2069
RUEHZS/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS HANOI 002779

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL TH VM
SUBJECT: THAI PRIME MINISTER BRIEFLY VISITS VIETNAM


1. (SBU) Summary: On October 26, Thailand's interim Prime Minister
Surayud Chulanont met with GVN leaders on a whirlwind visit that was
part of a round of courtesy calls to Southeast Asian neighbors. PM
Chulanont told his GVN interlocutors that Thailand's "recent
situation" had returned to normal and that the Thai leadership is
"actively preparing" to draft a new constitution. He also informed
State President Nguyen Minh Triet that a general election is
scheduled to take place by the end of next year. According to the
PM, the RTG's two priorities are to settle Thailand's domestic
political situation and to combat the violence occurring in the
south. End Summary.

2. (SBU) PM Chulanont's visit to Vietnam was one in a series of
visits to Thailand's neighbors that took place following the interim
PM's taking office. According to MFA Asia II (Southeast Asia)
Department Thailand Desk Officer Nguyen Trung Kien, PM Chulnont's
arrival in Vietnam was an hour behind schedule due to aircraft
problems and a switch to commercial air. As a result, his meeting
with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dzung was cut to a brief 35 minutes.
During their meeting, the two Prime Ministers weren't able to "cover
a lot of issues," but they expressed satisfaction with the growing
relationship between their countries. They agreed to encourage
bilateral cooperation mechanisms, including through regular meetings
of cabinet ministers, a joint committee on economic, cultural and
science and technology cooperation, and future (unspecified)
agreements on political security and foreign affairs. They also
agreed to boost economic cooperation, with a goal to increase
two-way trade to USD five billion within a few years, up from USD
three billion in 2005.

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3. (SBU) During his call on Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) General
Secretary Manh, PM Chulanont encouraged the GVN to continue with its

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economic reforms in the interest of building a "rich and strong
Vietnam." General Secretary Manh reaffirmed the GVN's policy of
encouraging bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

4. (SBU) In a separate meeting, State President Nguyen Minh Triet
praised Thailand's role as a proponent of regional initiatives,
citing its efforts in the Mekong Sub-Region and the East-West
Corridor. He also noted the potential of their respective countries
to contribute to the region's dynamic development. PM Chulanont
said Thailand's "recent situation" had returned to normal and that
the Thai leadership is "actively preparing" to draft a new
constitution. A general election is scheduled to take place by the
end of next year. The RTG's two priorities are to settle Thailand's
domestic political situation and to combat the violence occurring in
the south, said PM Chulanont. The PM also received a briefing at
the Ministry of Planning and Investment covering the economic
situation in Vietnam and the GVN's investment policy.

MARINE

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