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Educational support for Thai Muslim students in Egypt
Thailand Government Public Relations Departmentl Translate This Article
28 October 2012
The Government has provided educational support for Thai Muslim students in Egypt, which is attaching greater importance to the Asian region than before.
During his recent visit to Egypt, Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul met Thai Muslim students and paid a visit to the international ladies' dormitories at Al-Azhar University.
The Thai government offers a donation of one million baht to support activities carried out by Thai Muslim students at Al-Azhar University each year. There are currently about 2,000 Thai Muslim students in Egypt, and the majority of them are women.
According to a report from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thailand is pushing for the construction of a women's dormitory for Thai students there, in order to boost the welfare and security of female Thai Muslim students.
Foreign Minister Surapong also explained to his Egyptian counterpart Mohamed Kamel Amr the situation in Thailand's three southern border provinces of Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat, which are predominantly Muslim. He said that the Thai government had adopted His Majesty the King's wise advice to 'understand, reach out, and develop' as guidelines for dealing with problems and restoring peace in the southern border provinces.
Egypt is a popular Islamic study center among Muslim Thais from the southern border provinces.
The Foreign Minister asked Egypt to help create better understanding about the southern situation in the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC). He also expressed hope that OIC's resolutions concerning the southern border provinces of Thailand would reflect reality.
Foreign Minister Surapong informed Professor Dr. Ahmed Mohamed Ahmed Al-Tayeb, Grand Sheik of Al Azhar, that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra would like to invite him to visit Thailand, and the Grand Sheik accepted the invitation.
On this occasion, both countries signed an agreement on technical and development cooperation. They will celebrate the 60th anniversary of Thai-Egyptian diplomatic relations in 2014. Thailand will also host the third meeting of the Thailand-Egypt Joint Commission in 2013.
The Thai side proposed that Egypt use Thailand as its gateway to ASEAN, while Thailand will use Egypt as its gateway to North Africa. The Thai private sector was also invited to explore investment opportunities in Egypt, especially in the fields of tourism, hotel business, and food processing.
Egypt is Thailand's second largest trading partner in Africa. Trade between the two countries amounted to 805 million US dollars in 2011. Major Thai exports to Egypt include canned seafood, automobiles and auto parts, rubber, and household utensils.
Vast opportunities are still opened to Thai-Egyptian trade and investment. Apart from serving as a gateway for Thai products to Africa, Egypt also serves as Thailand's gateway to Mediterranean countries.
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