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Pattaya Daily News

Hilton
27 July 2008 :: 09:07:10 am 28445

Tej Bunnag Appointed New Thai Foreign Minister

BANGKOK, July 26 -- Tej Bunnag, currently advisor to the Office of His Majesty‘s Principal Private secretary, was on Saturday appointed Thailand‘s new minister of foreign affairs, succeeding Noppadon Pattama who resigned mid-July as a casualty of the row over the the ancient Khmer temple of Preah Vihear with Cambodia.
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His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej gave the royal endorsement to Mr. Tej as foreign minister Saturday afternoon.

Mr. Tej, a former permanent secretary for foreign affairs, is expected to have an audience with His Majesty the King on Sunday at the palace for a traditional swearing-in ceremony before officially taking up his post.

The most urgent task for the new foreign minister is to hold official talks with his Cambodian counterpart Hor Namhong next Monday in the Cambodian province of Siem Reap regarding the 4.6-square-kilometre contested area at Preah Vihear temple, which gained a World Heritage site listing from UNESCO for the Cambodian government earlier this month.

While hopes are improved for a positive outcome of Monday’s talks between the two men, the issue remains complex and emotion-laden for both countries.

The two ministers have had a long acquaintance, including a period during the 1990s when men represented their countries as ambassador to France.

Tej, 64, studied at Oxford and Cambridge and began his career with the Foreign Ministry in 1969.

Mr. Tej was formerly a co-chairman of the Thailand-Cambodia Commission for Promotion of Cultural Cooperation to boost friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

The post of foreign minister was left vacant since Mr. Noppadon resigned on July 14, days after the Constitution Court ruled that his signing of a joint document backing Cambodia’s bid to list the long-disputed Preah Vihear temple as a World Heritage site without endorsement by the Thai parliament was in breach of the country’s supreme law. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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