Thailand and Saudi Arabia are the two native Kingdoms that stayed alive after the European colonialism of the 19th century and the Cold War disturbance of the 20th century. On the other hand, the two countries hardly have official relations because there was an incident in the late 1980s which involved theft and murder. Saudi Arabia has put a ban on Saudis to travel to Thailand but some time back, in Manama, it was declared that the limitations on traveling were reversed. But the senior official confirmed by saying that this news is incorrect. Somebody widely distributed and shared the screenshots on social media in Saudi Arabia of the suspected website of the Saudi embassy in Thailand welcoming all nationals to the Far East country. The screen shots were false and Saudis are still not allowed to travel to Thailand. This is incorrect that all Saudis could travel as reported by Saudi Foreign Ministry Spokesman Osama Naqli. Following are the three extraordinary cases which allow Saudis to travel to Thailand:
- If a Saudi is wedded to a Thai lady and if he presents all the documents which prove his marriage, then only he can visit Thailand.
- If a person has a disease or health issues which can be treated by Thailand hospital or medical centers, then in such case he can travel to Thailand. The health ministry of Saudi Arabia will provide a medical report to the ministry of Thailand along with the details of the patient.
- Those passengers who can prove that they are visiting Thailand only due to transit purpose of 24 to 72 hours are allowed. Official confirmation should be provided to the airport department that he/she visited due to transit in Thailand.
On Monday, more details were reported by the Saudi daily newspaper that Naqli said that the person who wants to travel to Thailand needs an official approval. Saudi Arabia kept restriction on traveling to Thailand because of the “blue diamond” case of 1989. The story starts in 1989; a Thai gardener was working in Saudi Arabia at the fort of the Crown Prince. He took chance to take 100 KG of gold jewelry, including a unique blue diamond, across the border by hiding them in a crate of apples and transferring them to Thailand. Soon afterward, he came back to Thailand and collected his jewelry and hid it in his house in Northern Thailand with the target to sell them.
The Saudi government caught the case of robbery after he left the Kingdom. The Thai police caught him with the help of information provided by the Saudi government. They promised to give back the stolen things and the case was closed then.
Later on, three representatives of Saudi Arabia were murdered in Bangkok in execution-style in two unlike attacks on the same night, and after two days of those murders, a Saudi entrepreneur was murdered. In the year before the restriction was imposed, 77,782 Saudi nationals traveled to Thailand, according to Thai media.
Source: Gulf News
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