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Thailand to participate in Cebu Dialogue on Regional Interfaith Cooperation forPPeace in the Philippines
[February 26, 2006]

Thailand to participate in Cebu Dialogue on Regional Interfaith Cooperation forPPeace in the Philippines

(Thai Press Reports Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)Section: General News - Thailand has accepted an invitation from the Philippines to participate in the Cebu Dialogue on Regional Interfaith Cooperation for Peace, Development, and Human Dignity.

The invitation was extended to Foreign Minister Kantathi Suphamongkhon by visiting Under Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines Ms Sonia Brady.

During his discussion with Ms. Brady at the Foreign Ministry on Thursday (Feb 23), the Thai Foreign Minister indicated that Thailand would send a delegation to the meeting, and would participate actively in the forum, as Thailand also attaches great importance to the promotion of inter-religious understanding.

The Philippines has invited as well other countries in the region to this meeting to be hosted by the Philippine government in Cebu Island from March 14th - 16th. Mr. Kantathi remarked that misperception among communities of different religions might lead to misunderstanding and violence. On this occasion, the Under Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, who was herself former Philippine Ambassador to Bangkok, thanked Thailand and other ASEAN friends for their assistance to the Philippines after the recent landslide in Leyte Island.

Furthermore, the Thai Foreign Minister and the Philippine Under Secretary of Foreign Affairs discussed the situation in the region and cooperation under the ASEAN framework, especially the drafting of the ASEAN Charter. Mr. Kantathi noted that he had just met former President Fidel Ramos of the Philippines, who had recently visited Thailand to attend the meeting of the ASEAN Eminent Persons' Group (EPG) which was entrusted with drafting the Charter. The Foreign Minister was of the view that the Charter would contribute to the establishment of a common ASEAN community, but ASEAN should also work on promoting the people- to- people ties, especially the awareness and sense of ownership among ASEAN's peoples in the rural areas as well. In order to reach the peoples, ASEAN might expand cooperation on cultural front, entertainment industry, exchanges of films, and other fields. The Philippine side agreed to the Thai observation and proposed that ASEAN might also consider the possibility of jointly producing series of TV dramas or tele-novellas, to be broadcast in members countries, which could be another way to forge the sense of close friendship at the peoples' level.

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