King of Saudi Arabia donates 7 tonnes of dates to Thailand Muslims
The King of Saudi Arabia has bestowed 7 tonnes of dates and gift boxes to Thai Muslims who are fasting during the holy month of Ramadan from April 2 – May 1. King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud’s gift of 3,000 boxes of dates will be distributed to Muslim communities in Thailand to eat at iftar, which is the meal Muslims eat to break their fast after the sun sets every day this month. The gift honours the recent restoration of diplomatic ties between Thailand and Saudi Arabia after a 30 year hiatus.
On April 5, Essam Saleh H. Algetale, who is the charge d’Affaires of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia to the Kingdom of Thailand, presided over the gift handover at the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Bangkok. The ceremony was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Chulalongkorn University, the Central Islamic Council of Thailand and the Islamic Centre of Thailand.
After a 30 year suspension of formal ties, Saudi Arabia and Thailand have recently started to repair their relationship. In January, Thailand’s Prime Minister PM Prayut Chan-o-cha went on a diplomatic mission to Riyadh upon invitation from a Saudi prince, marking the first visit by a Thai official to the kingdom in three decades.
Last month, Saudi Arabia lifted its travel ban for Saudi nationals wanting to visit Thailand and launched its first direct flight to Thailand in 32 years. In the same month, Thailand’s cabinet approved two draft agreements to allow Thais to work in Saudi Arabia. Last week, Thailand shipped chicken products to Saudi Arabia for the first time since 2004. The chicken passed the strict Halal standards set by the Central Islamic Council of Thailand.
The recent conciliation between the two countries is hoped to benefit labour, trade, and investment for both Thailand and Saudi Arabia.
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