Thai officials arrive in Israel for airport security tour

A delegation of three Thai officials is here this week for a security-oriented tour of the country's airport technologies. During the five-day tour, organized by a partnership between the Israel Embassy in Bangkok, the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry and the Israel Export Institute, the officials from Bangkok will examine security cameras, software, control rooms and other devices, Tzahi Selzer, head of the economic division of the Israeli Embassy in Bangkok, told The Jerusalem Post on Monday. The visitors will also hear from security officials at airports and the Interior Ministry. Calling Thailand Israel's best friend in the Far East, Selzer, who is accompanying the visitors, said that the officials recognize that Israel has the best security in the world and that two countries have been engaging in trade and technology research for years. The Thai officials will take what they learn here and apply it to the construction of an additional airport for civilian use, he said. This past December, violent demonstrations against the Thai prime minister shut down the two major airports near Bangkok, crippling the economy and tourism industry. The officials are seeking to plan and build an alternative civilian airport at a military base to assure access to and from the country, even during times of unrest. Seltzer said that Thailand is looking to repair its economy and tourism industry, and has turned to Israel to ensure that the new airport is secure and technologically savvy. According to Seltzer, trade between Thailand and Israel totaled around $1.3 billion in 2008. Imports to Israel from Thailand include food, electronics, chemicals and diamonds. Israel mostly exports agriculture, machinery and technology to Thailand.