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PIA Press Release

President to hold bilateral meeting with visiting Thai Prime Minister in Malacañang today

Manila (23 October) -- Thai Prime Minister Gen. Surayud Chulanont is arriving in Manila Monday afternoon for a brief official visit to the Philippines as part of his familiarization tour of Thailand’s fellow members in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Upon arrival at 4:00 p.m. on board a special aircraft A319 at the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing in Villamor Air Base, Pasay City, the new Thai prime minister will proceed to Malacañang where he will be welcomed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at the Palace grounds.

Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio R. Bunye said that after the arrival honors, President Arroyo and Gen. Surayud will hold a "One-on-One" meeting at Malacañang’s Music Room.

The two leaders’ bilateral talk will then be followed by an expanded bilateral meeting at the Music Conference Room, this time to be attended also by senior officials of the Philippine government and the official Thai delegation.

Secretary Bunye earlier said in an interview by government radio station DZRB (Radyo ng Bayan) on Saturday that during the two leaders’ meeting, President Arroyo is expected to convey to the Thai prime minister the desire of many countries for the expeditious restoration of political normalcy in Bangkok.

Topics aimed at further strengthening the already warm and strong bilateral relations between the Philippines and Thailand are also expected to dominate the meeting. The two countries are both members of the ASEAN along with Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Vietnam.

After the bilateral meeting, Gen. Surayud will leave for the Manila Hotel for a brief rest. He and his delegation will return to Malacañang at 7:00 p.m. for the traditional Official Dinner hosted by President Arroyo at the Palace State Dining Room.

From Manila, Surayud, who became prime minister last Oct. 1, returns to Bangkok at 8:50 p.m. Monday after visiting Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, and Malaysia earlier. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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