BANGKOK — Thai junta chairman Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha pledged to assist Palestine during a bilateral talk with the Palestinian Prime Minister in Indonesia today.
Gen. Prayuth, who came to power through a coup last year and installed himself as Prime Minister in August, spoke with Rami Hamdallah during a five-day conference of leaders from Asian and African nation in Jakarta today.
According to a government spokesperson, Gen. Prayuth vowed to help Palestine develop its natural and human resources, and advance its infrastructure, tourism, and agricultural sectors.
"As for the peace process in the Middle East, Thailand recognizes that the United Nations must solve the problems in peaceful way," said Yongyuth Mayalarp, a spokesperson for the Office of Prime Minister. "Thailand hopes that all sides return to direct peace dialogues once again."
Despite its friendly ties with Israel and strong alliance with the US, Thailand recognized the state of Palestine in 2012 during Palestine’s push for full membership in the United Nations.
Later that year, the UN passed a motion altering Palestine's status from an "entity" to a "non-member observer state."
Currently, 135 UN member states officially recognise Palestine as an independent nation, and 50 countries, including the United States and many western European nations, do not.
More than 30 heads of state attended this year's Asian-African summit, which marked the 60th anniversary of the historic conference in Bandung, Indonesia that sought to strengthen alliances between the two regions and oppose colonialism in any form.