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Pattaya Daily News

19 October 2008 :: 00:10:29 am 41113

Pm Visits Wounded Soldiers; Sees Talks With Cambodia Possible

SI SA KET, Oct 18 -- Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat said Saturday he believes negotiations with the Cambodian government aimed at settling border disputes between the two neighbouring countries are now possible and that there is no need to ask ASEAN for help in mediation.
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Mr. Somchai, who also serves as Thailand’s defence minister, said that what his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen said on Friday in Phnom Penh was considered positive and since the two countries are neighbours “we must live in peaceful co-existence in accordance with the wish of both sides”.

The Thai premier said Thailand and Cambodia shared the same idea that differences could be settled through negotiations as the two countries are neighbours.

Negotiations are expected to be held soon, said Mr. Somchai, depending on protocols between the Cambodian and Thai foreign ministries.

Second Army Chief Lt-Gen. Wibulsak Neepal was scheduled to lead Thai delegates for bilateral talks at Cambodia’s Siem Reap province next Wednesday and Thursday (October 23-24).

The prime minster said that Thailand has never trespassed on other countries’ territories and the two countries agreed to use talks under the agreed upon mechanisms to sette the border disputes.

Mr. Hun Sen on Friday expressed his rejection on the help of mediators or international organisations to resolve a border dispute with Thailand which occurred again on Wednesday.

Two Cambodian soldiers died and seven Thai soldiers were wounded during the clashes on that day.

The Cambodian’s premier’s remarks favouring bilateral talks were a reversal of his earlier calls to resolve the border dispute with Thailand in international arenas.

As for the schedule to visit ASEAN members after taking the prime minister’s post, Mr. Somchai said that the plan was under consideration but whether the first country to visit would be Cambodia or not, he could not confirm.

Mr. Somchai’s comments on possible negotiations with the Cambodian government were made after he had visited a wounded paramilitary ranger, one of seven wounded soldiers and other injured soldiers in hospitals in Ubon Ratchathani and Si Sa Ket province .

During the visit, aimed at boosting the morale of the Thai soldiers, Mr. Somchai also handed a gift basket and an envelope of money to assist the family of the wounded soldier. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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