Thai FM travels to Qatar, Egypt for captive talks

AFP , Tuesday 31 Oct 2023

Thailand's foreign minister begins an urgent visit to Qatar and Egypt on Tuesday for talks on the fate of 22 Thais taken captive by Hamas in its operation on Israel.

Palestinians evacuate survivors of the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip in Rafah on Monday, Oct
Palestinians evacuate survivors of the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip in Rafah on Monday, Oct. 30, 2023. AP

 

More than 230 captives are being held by Hamas in Gaza, according to the latest Israeli figures -- 22 of them Thai nationals, the foreign ministry in Bangkok has said.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said Monday his government was working hard to get Thai citizens home.

He has dispatched Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara to meet the Qatari prime minister and foreign minister on Tuesday, before talks with the Egyptian foreign minister on Wednesday.

Parnpree will "discuss the situation of Thai nationals being held hostage as a result of the ongoing violence in Israel and Gaza", the ministry said in a statement.

About 30,000 Thais were working in Israel, many in the agricultural sector, when the conflict erupted.

At least 32 Thais have been killed in the conflict and 19 wounded, according to the ministry.

"We are more like victims of the war," Srettha told reporters before a trip to neighbouring Laos on Monday.

"We have been more affected because there are more workers from Thailand in Israel than from other countries."

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