Visiting Thai Prime Minister lays wreath at Rizal monument (Philippines News Agency)

The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand on Friday paid his respects to Filipino national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, by laying a wreath at his monument at the Rizal Park in Manila.

Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha is in Manila for a two-day official visit from August 27 to 28 at the invitation of President Benigno S. Aquino III.

This is his first visit to the Philippines since assuming office in August 2014. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the visit aims to further strengthen Philippine-Thailand relations.

Prime Minister Prayut arrived at the Rizal Park for the wreath-laying ceremony at 9:38 a.m., and was welcomed by former president and incumbent Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo and other officials.

The Prime Minister was accompanied by his spouse, Madame Naraporn Chan-o-cha, and members of the Thai delegation in offering flowers to the Philippines’ national hero. He was accorded military honors with a 21-gun salute.

The visiting Thai leader also received the symbolic key to the city from Mayor Estrada during the wreath-laying ceremony.

Prime Minister Prayut, together with the members of his official delegation, left Rizal Park at 9:48 a.m. for Malacanang for a bilateral meeting with President Aquino.

The DFA earlier said the two leaders would discuss matters of mutual concern, such as defense, law enforcement, education, trade and investment, agriculture, tourism, security, technical cooperation, and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) matters.

Thailand is the Philippines’ eighth largest trading partner in 2014, with total two-way trade amounting to US$ 5.83 billion. Both countries enjoy excellent and cordial relations at the bilateral, regional, and multilateral levels. (PNA)