THAILAND’S FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE has asked British Minister of State for the Indo-Pacific Anne-Marie Trevelyan to help rescue 17 Thais held hostage in Gaza Strip as the Israel-Hamas war rages on, Naewna newspaper said today (Oct. 18).
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said this morning in Beijing that one more Thai worker had died in this war taking the death toll to 30 but the total number of injured and those held captives remained unchanged at 16 and 17 respectively.
Srettha added that during a reception hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping last night he got an opportunity to talk to UN Secretary-General António Guterres and mentioned to him that Thailand is not part of this conflict yet it has suffered the second highest casualties after the US.
The UN Secretary-General was shocked to hear this and expressed sympathy for Thailand. He will be travelling to Egypt tomorrow and will also be going to the area of conflict clearly to push for a settlement as soon as possible.
Later Mr. Noppadon Pattama, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said in his talks with Trevelyan he urged the UK to help rescue Thai workers as it is a permanent member of the UN Security Council and plays an important role on the world stage.
All parties in the conflict should come to the negotiation table to discuss ending the fighting and creating sustainable peace in the Middle East, he said.
Thailand also seeks to strengthen relations and cooperation with the UK on both bilateral issues and at the regional level, including the conflict in Myanmar and the war in Gaza.
Talks should be held to explore opportunities on boosting cooperation especially where trade is concerned with the committee hopeful that the two countries will soon be able to conclude a Free Trade Agreement, which would help boost Thai exports.
Assistant Permanent Secretary of the Labour Ministry Mr. Decha Phruekpattanarak welcomed 266 more Thais returning from Israel on Thai Airways flight TG 8951 that arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport at 3.30 a.m. today, Oct. 18, 2023. Photos: Naewna