CHIANGRAI TIMES – Thai Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul on Thursday said that 14 countries have issued travel advisories warning their citizens to be careful while visiting Thailand following Tuesday’s blasts in the capital.
The 14 countries are Canada, the United States, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Austria, the Netherlands, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, New Zealand, Italy, Norway, Israel and Taiwan, according to the minister.
The foreign minister expressed confidence that the negative situation will not be prolonged as the Thai authorities were able to detain almost all the suspects. It remains unclear whether or not the incidents are terror attacks targeting Israeli diplomats.
“Iran is ready to cooperate with Thailand to investigate the detainees’ nationality so that it will become clear which group is responsible for the bomb incidents,” Mr Surapong said.
Regarding the arrest of a third Iranian by Malaysian authorities, the minister said the extradition of the detainee to Thailand is being sought.
Mr Surapong said that a company which facilitated the arrival of the detained Iranians as tourists will be questioned, and that he will direct Thai embassies worldwide to impose a stricter process when issuing visas.
The foreign minister reaffirmed that Thailand is friendly with every country and that it has no involvement in any conflict between other countries. He said that the explosion in the heart of Bangkok was not terrorism as the target was a particular person.
Meanwhile, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) on Thursday reported that no room reservations were cancelled in Sukhumvit area, the vicinity of Valentine’s Day blasts, but the authorities must still assess the situation in the coming months.
TAT Deputy Governor Sansern Ngaorangsri said the 22 TAT offices around the world were asked to monitor foreign media coverage on the blasts and clarify the incidents with tour agencies.
Thai Hotels Association president Prakit Shinamornpong on Thursday reaffirmed that no room cancellations were made by foreign visitors since the blasts occurred on Tuesday as he inquired the association’s members which operate their businesses in Sukhumvit and Ratchaprasong areas.
Mr Prakit said hotel bookings in Phuket, Pattaya and Koh Samui are unaffected by the incidents.
The hotel trade association executive urged state agencies to clarify the security measures to restore confidence among the visitors that travelling in Thailand is still safe. (MCOT online)