S'pore and Thailand mark 50 years of ties

Singapore and Thailand are marking the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam exchanged messages with Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Minister of Foreign Affairs Don Pramudwinai on Sunday to commemorate the event.

In his letter to General Prayut, Mr Lee conveyed his best wishes and said Singapore and Thailand enjoy a close friendship.

He wrote: "Thailand was among the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with Singapore, shortly after we gained independence. Since then, our friendship has grown from strength to strength.

"We have built a comprehensive relationship on multiple fronts and through various platforms such as the Leaders' Retreat, the Civil Service Exchange Programme and the Singapore-Thailand Enhanced Economic Relationship (Steer).

"Bilateral trade has grown steadily over the years, and Singapore continues to be one of Thailand's largest investors."

Mr Lee said both countries are also close partners within the Asean family.

"I look forward to working with you to bring our relations to greater heights," he told Gen Prayut.

In his letter to Mr Don, Mr Shanmugam extended his warmest wishes and noted the countries' longstanding relations.

"Over the years, our two countries have worked closely together in many areas. The upcoming launch of the joint stamp issue to commemorate our 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, along with various commemorative events both in Singapore and Thailand, is testament to our enduring friendship," he wrote.

Mr Shanmugam said he looked forward to working with Mr Don to strengthen bilateral relations and cooperation within Asean.

As part of events to celebrate the anniversary, the Singapore Wind Symphony and Thailand's Silpakorn University, with the support of the Singapore Embassy in Bangkok, staged a joint musical performance yesterday at an event hosted by Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 22, 2015, with the headline 'S'pore and Thailand mark 50 years of ties'. Print Edition | Subscribe