News: Latest News
Latest NewsCompaniesMarketsEconomy & ForexCommoditiesInterest RatesBusiness LeadersFinance Pro.CalendarSectors 
All NewsEconomyCurrencies & ForexEconomic EventsCryptocurrenciesCybersecurityPress Releases

Thai PM to visit Saudi Arabia as diplomatic relations thaw

01/23/2022 | 06:06am EDT
FILE PHOTO: Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha attends a family photo session with new cabinet ministers at the Government House in Bangkok

RIYADH (Reuters) -Thailand's prime minister will visit Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, the Saudi foreign ministry said, in what will be the first high-level meeting between the two countries since a diplomatic row over a jewellery theft nearly three decades ago.

Saudi Arabia downgraded its diplomatic relations with Bangkok following the theft in 1989 of around $20 million of jewels by a Thai janitor working in the palace of a Saudi prince, in what became known as the "Blue Diamond Affair".

A large number of the gems, including the rare blue diamond, are yet to be recovered.

Thailand's Premier Prayuth Chan-ocha will start a two-day visit to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday at the invitation of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

"The visit comes amid consultations that led to bringing views closer on issues of common interest," the ministry said.

The visit is aimed at coordinating on those issues, it said, without elaborating.

The theft of the jewels remains one of Thailand's biggest unsolved mysteries and was followed by a bloody trail of destruction that saw some of Thailand's top police generals implicated.

A year after the theft, three Saudi diplomats in Thailand were killed in three separate assassinations in a single night.

A month later, a Saudi businessman, Mohammad al-Ruwaili, who witnessed one of the shootings, disappeared and later in 2014, a Thai criminal court dismissed a case against five men, including a senior police officer, charged with murdering Ruwaili over the precious stones.

Thailand has been eager to normalise ties with the oil-rich Kingdom after the spat that has cost billions of dollars in two-way trade and tourism revenues and the loss of jobs to tens of thousands of Thai migrant workers.

(Reporting by Nadine Awadalla, writing by Aziz El YaakoubiEditing by Gareth Jones and Susan Fenton)

ę Reuters 2022
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
LONDON BRENT OIL 0.18% 113 Delayed Quote.44.71%
WTI -2.29% 111.067 Delayed Quote.47.74%
Latest news "Economy & Forex"
06:12aIllegally jailed at the Bronx Zoo? Court to weigh Happy the Elephant's rights
06:11aLowe's posts bigger-than-expected drop in same-store sales
06:11aROYAL WARDROBE : a look at Queen Elizabeth's unique fashion style
06:11aChina moves another 2 mln bbls of Iranian oil into reserve tanks - Vortexa
06:08aSUBURBS VS DOWNTOWN : Toronto's mixed housing market may signal coming trend
06:08aTwo Trump-backed candidates win U.S. election primaries, but two fall short
06:08aAir France-KLM agrees cargo deal with French shipping firm CMA CGM
06:07aBritish pub groups face rising costs from Ukraine war
06:05aHindu groups file fresh petitions to stop Muslims from entering historic Indian mosque
06:04aAnalysis-Elon Musk can't easily give Twitter the boot over bots
Latest news "Economy & Forex"