BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Chinese Vietnamese Burmese Thai Indonesian
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Asia-Pacific  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 15 October, 2002, 07:03 GMT 08:03 UK
Thai-Burmese border reopens
Thai-Burmese border
The open border is crucial to regional trade
Burma has reopened its border with Thailand after a diplomatic row sparked a five-month closure which crippled regional trade.

The two countries announced the border would be unlocked last week after a thaw in relations that included a visit to Bangkok by Burma's foreign minister.

Win Aung, Burmese Foreign Minister
The agreement followed Thai talks with Burma's foreign minister
Crowds of people gathered to cross the border on Tuesday morning as Burmese soldiers removed the wire barricades blocking the Thailand-Myanmar Friendship Bridge - one of the countries' major checkpoints.

Burma closed its border with Thailand on 22 May after the Thai army fired shells into Burma during a battle between the Burmese army and ethnic Shan rebels.

Thailand said its forces opened fire only when the fighting spilled over the border, but Burma accused them of trying to aid the rebels.

Tensions eased

"The reopening of the border checkpoints illustrates that the close relationship between the two countries has returned," Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra told reporters.

Boomthiem Chokewattana, head of the customs office at Mae Sot - one of the main border crossings - said the border closure had lost Thailand about 5 billion baht ($113.7 million) in trade.

Another product of the porous 1,800-km (1,125-mile) border is drug running.

Thai Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai said after his talks with his Burmese counterpart Win Aung two weeks ago that they two sides had discussed co-operating in the fight against illegal drugs.

See also:

25 Sep 02 | Asia-Pacific
06 Mar 02 | Asia-Pacific
04 Sep 01 | Asia-Pacific
03 Sep 01 | Asia-Pacific
20 Jun 01 | Asia-Pacific
25 Feb 02 | Country profiles
05 Jun 02 | Country profiles
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes