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Yingluck denies meeting Thaksin during overseas trips
Publication Date : 25-02-2013
Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday kick-started her visit to South Korea and Hong Kong and dismissed speculation about a plan to meet her fugitive brother Thaksin.
"I will not meet Thaksin in Hong Kong as has been alleged [during the two-day trip]," she said.
Yingluck, accompanied by her son Supasek Amornchat, is due to attend the inauguration of South Korea's first female president, Park Geun-hye.
On the second leg of her trip, she will unveil the Thai infrastructure development plan to attract foreign investment. She is expected to return to Bangkok tomorrow night.
Speaking before her departure, the prime minister said she was worried about the final stretch of the Bangkok governor's race for Pheu Thai candidate Pongsapat Pongcharoen.
She said she would help Pongsapat sway votes until the "last minute" ahead of the March 3 ballot.
She urged all candidates to campaign in a constructive manner. She also called on Bangkok voters to turn out in full force for the election.
Upon arrival in Seoul, the PM was scheduled to make a farewell call on outgoing President Lee Myung-bak. Following the inauguration of Park, she will extend an invitation for the first female elected to the South Korean presidency to attend a regional conference on water management in Bangkok in May.
She will also outline her willingness to work with Park on female empowerment.
In Hong Kong, the Thai delegation will hold talks with the special administrative region's leader Leung Chun-ying. There will be a signing ceremony for the agreement to boost economic and trade ties.
The prime minister will meet Hong Kong bankers and tourism operators during the two-day visit.
Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung will be acting prime minister until tomorrow night. The Cabinet meeting has been rescheduled, however, from Tuesday to Wednesday in order to coincide with Yingluck's return.
Pheu Thai Party spokesman Prompong Nopparit dismissed allegations about a Yingluck-Thaksin meeting.
Thaksin would be in Europe this week and Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva had allowed his imagination to run wild by alleging they would meet, he said.