After three decades, Saudi Arabia allows travel to Thailand

The announcement of the restoration of relations came after a meeting between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who visited Riyadh for an official visit in January 2022

Riyadh: The Saudi Arabian government has lifted the travel ban on its citizens to Thailand and allowed Thais to enter the kingdom, ending a diplomatic crisis dating back to 1989, reported the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The General Directorate of Passports in the Kingdom on Wednesday, March 9, lifted the travel ban that had been imposed, but it did not provide further details.

On February 27, 2022, Saudi Arabian Airlines launched the first direct flight from Jeddah to Bangkok, in the presence of the Thai Consul in the Kingdom.

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The announcement of the restoration of relations came after a meeting between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who visited Riyadh for an official visit in January 2022.

It was the first government-level visit between the two countries in more than 30 years.

Saudi Arabia has imposed the ban following the “blue diamond” affair of 1989 when a Thai national broke into the palace of Prince Faisal bin Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in Riyadh and stole close to 100kg of jewellery, including a blue diamond.

Soon afterwards, four Saudi diplomats in Bangkok were shot dead in two different attacks on the same night, and two days later, a Saudi businessman was killed.

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