Myanmar premier in Thailand for talks, home-cooked meal

April 29th, 2008 - 5:13 pm ICT by admin  

Bangkok, April 29 (DPA) Myanmar Prime Minister Thein Sein arrived in Thailand Tuesday for a three-day visit that is to include a home-cooked meal by his Thai counterpart. Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej, known for his culinary skills, has invited General Thein Sein to his home Tuesday night to enjoy a meal prepared by the premier himself, government spokesman Wichianchote Sukchotrat said.

Myanmar, deemed a pariah state among Western democracies, was one of the first countries Samak visited after becoming prime minister Feb 6.

Samak, upon returning from Myanmar in mid-March, described it as a peaceful and orderly country with a military leader, Senior General Than Shwe, who is a good Buddhist who prays every morning.

Thailand is one of Myanmar’s leading trading partners and is highly dependent on its neighbour for natural gas to produce its electricity.

Thai Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama said Monday that Thailand supported Myanmar in its long-standing attempt to build a democracy.

Myanmar is scheduled to hold a referendum May 10 on a new constitution that critics said would merely consolidate military rule by barring most major opposition leaders from power and effectively introducing a military veto over civilian decisions.

Thein Sein was appointed in October but wields considerably less power than Thaw Shwe, the iron man of the regime.

The two prime ministers were expected to discuss potentially controversial cooperation over dam building on border rivers as well as transport links and drug suppression.

They were expected to sign a cooperation agreement on contract farming in rubber and palm oil plantations.

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