Thailand, Philippines tie up to combat drug trafficking, strengthen defense

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha on March 21 during the former’s official state visit to Thailand agreed on closer cooperation in security and defense.

They reaffirmed their commitment to jointly address transnational crimes, namely drug and human trafficking, terrorism and violent extremism. The closer cooperation also includes the strengthening of military ties.

“Thailand and the Philippines are willing to work together in tightening the military ties of both countries as we are concerned about the challenges in addressing terrorism and all forms of transnational crimes,” Chan-ocha said after a meeting with Duterte, who is facing international criticism over his ultra-violent anti-drug campaign at home which resulted in about 8,000 deaths since he took office in November last year.

Chan-ocha said he and Duterte also discussed the need to maintain and further strengthen the cooperation between their respective militaries. They agreed to enhance exchanges of information and intelligence among security agencies.

As the Philippines chairs the regional meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this year, Duterte emphasised the need for the bloc to complete the framework of a code of conduct to ensure all parties follow legal and diplomatic processes in settling territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

While Thailand has no territorial claim in the South China Sea, as one of ASEAN’s bigger members it is influential within the bloc. Prayut Chan-ocha said that he shared the same stance on the maritime territorial disputes as Duterte, noting that he believed the ultimate goal should be for the South China Sea to be a “sea of peace, stability and sustainable development” in order to benefit the region and its people.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha on March 21 during the former’s official state visit to Thailand agreed on closer cooperation in security and defense.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha on March 21 during the former’s official state visit to Thailand agreed on closer cooperation in security and defense.

They reaffirmed their commitment to jointly address transnational crimes, namely drug and human trafficking, terrorism and violent extremism. The closer cooperation also includes the strengthening of military ties.

“Thailand and the Philippines are willing to work together in tightening the military ties of both countries as we are concerned about the challenges in addressing terrorism and all forms of transnational crimes,” Chan-ocha said after a meeting with Duterte, who is facing international criticism over his ultra-violent anti-drug campaign at home which resulted in about 8,000 deaths since he took office in November last year.

Chan-ocha said he and Duterte also discussed the need to maintain and further strengthen the cooperation between their respective militaries. They agreed to enhance exchanges of information and intelligence among security agencies.

As the Philippines chairs the regional meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this year, Duterte emphasised the need for the bloc to complete the framework of a code of conduct to ensure all parties follow legal and diplomatic processes in settling territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

While Thailand has no territorial claim in the South China Sea, as one of ASEAN’s bigger members it is influential within the bloc. Prayut Chan-ocha said that he shared the same stance on the maritime territorial disputes as Duterte, noting that he believed the ultimate goal should be for the South China Sea to be a “sea of peace, stability and sustainable development” in order to benefit the region and its people.

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