Thai government resists Israeli embassy’s call for hostage release in Gaza

Photo courtesy of Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara (X)

A call for the immediate release of all hostages held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, initiated by the Israeli embassy, met with opposition from the Thai government. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara expressed his disapproval of the move on Tuesday. He has requested a meeting with the Israeli ambassador for a discussion on the issue.

The Thai government is currently in negotiations to secure the release of eight Thai hostages. Parnpree stated that Thailand is keen to avoid causing any misunderstandings among the parties involved in the conflict.

“Thailand is friends with every country… Most importantly, Thailand must ensure that all the Thai hostages are safe and can return home. We don’t want any country to use Thailand as a platform to create conflict.”

Parnpree emphasised the government’s commitment to the well-being of the Thai hostages and mentioned that they are exploring various avenues to secure their release. He also mentioned that the Thai government is in talks with countries that have offered assistance.

Parnpree, along with Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, are currently representing Thailand at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. With Qatar’s Prime Minister also in attendance, Parnpree intends to engage in discussions, given Qatar’s previous assistance in securing the release of Thai hostages.

In the past week, the Israeli embassy initiated a campaign involving one hundred tuk tuks, each adorned with a banner featuring the face, name and age of a current hostage, along with the message Bring Them Home in Thai and English. The campaign marked the 100th day of captivity for the hostages and aimed to raise global awareness about their plight, reported Bangkok Post.

The Israeli ambassador, Orna Sagiv, said the campaign aims to remind the public of those who remain captive in the Gaza Strip. She pointed out the longstanding relationship between Israel and Thailand and the shared experience of having their citizens held as hostages.

“Israel and Thailand have [had] a tight relationship for many years. Both of our people have been held hostage in this conflict. We are talking about 135 people, including eight Thai nationals. We want to ask every government, including Thailand, to help us in calling for their return.”

Thailand opposed Israel’s hostage campaign as it interfered with negotiations. Deputy PM emphasised neutrality, prioritising the safe return of Thai hostages.

Thailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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