Wednesday, December 30, 2009

FM Kasit urges PM Hun Sen to consider Thai-Cambodian relations as priority


BANGKOK, Dec 30 (TNA) - Thailand's Minister of Foreign Affairs Kasit Piromya on Wednesday urged Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen to show concern for better long term relations between the two kingdoms by not getting involved with convicted Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

Mr Kasit said as long as PM Hun Sen has cordial relations with the fugitive ex-premier and sets this amicable relationship as his standpoint in bilateral relations, Thailand cannot accept the condition.

"Neither I nor Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva have any personal conflict with Mr Hun Sen and Mr Thaksin," said the Thai foreign minister, "I have known Mr Hun Sen for over 20 years and know his style of working very well, so I don't want Mr Hun Sen to get involved with the convicted ex-premier for the sake of good bilateral relations."

Mr Kasit reiterated that Mr Thaksin is a fugitive, wanted by the Thai authorities, and that he has undermined Thai society and continues even now.

Ousted by a bloodless coup d'etat on September 19, 2006, Mr Thaksin fled the country over one year ago before the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions sentenced him to a two-year jail term for malfeasance in regard to the controversial Bangkok Ratchadapisek land purchase case.

The diplomatic row between Thailand and Cambodia flared up after the Cambodian government appointed the fugitive ex-Thai premier as its economic adviser and personal adviser to Mr Hun Sen.

The Thai government recalled its ambassador to Phnom Penh in retaliation, while Cambodia then withdrew its ambassador to Bangkok.

The Cambodian government also refused to extradite Mr Thaksin as requested by Thailand and arrested a Thai engineer working at Thai-owned Cambodia Air Traffic Services (CATS) on charges of passing privileged information on the flight details of Mr Thaksin during his first visit as advisor to Cambodia to a Thai diplomat.

The Thai employee was sentenced to seven years jail and fined Bt100,000 (US$3,000) but later was released following a royal pardon granted by the Cambodian king.

The Cambodian premier was recently quoted in foreign media as saying he is unhappy as long as Thai premier Abhisit and Mr Kasit are still in their posts. (TNA)

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