Government says Montenegrin visa waiver no connection with Thaksin

The Yingluck government today strongly denied its waiver of visas for Montenegrin diplomats and office holders has nothing to do with ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra but just to facilitate their visits.

Government spokesperson Pakdiharn Himathongkham said that the cabinet has endorsed the visa waiver of both countries as proposed by the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Under the agreement with the Montenegrin government, diplomats and government office holders of both countries will be allowed to enter each other country for a 90-day stay  without having to apply for visas.

But the spokesperson maintained that each country still retains the right to reject entry on security or public health reason.

He said that such agreement with Montenegro would become a base for further cooperation and development on various dimensions, particularly on political, economic and tourism aspects.

Pakdiharn insisted that the visa waiver agreement was not unusual and had nothing to do with Montenegro’s granting special citizenship and special passpoet to Thaksin Shinawatra as in the past the country has granted special citizenship to citizens of many countries who came and open bank accounts with deposits of over a million dollars because  it considered these people have strong financial potential to invest and do business in its country.

He said that Thailand and Montenegro has been in trade for sometimes with annual trade value amounted to over five million dollars. Though the trade value was not much, but Montenegro tends to import more  from Thailand particularly consumers products or up to 80%. This indicated that Montenegro could become a potential export market for Thai consumers products, and a potential country for investment in fishery, tourism, and infrastructure.

He added that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is scheduled to begin her visit to Montenegro on September 13 after visiting Italy and Vatican .