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Pattaya Daily News

18 September 2011 :: 08:09:38 am 58370

Thai ex-PM meets Cambodian leader

PHNOM PENH, September 17, 2011- Former Thai leader Thaksin Shinawatra met Cambodia's premier in Phnom Penh Saturday for the first time since his sister took power in Thailand, but an official said politics was not on the agenda.
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Thaksin, who was ousted from power in 2006 and lives abroad to avoid a jail term for corruption, arrived early Saturday morning, shortly after his sibling Yingluck Shinawatra concluded her first official visit to Cambodia.

A smiling Thaksin embraced the Cambodian leader Hun Sen on Saturday morning and said he was happy to see him before the pair held closed-door talks at the government’s Peace Building in the capital.

“As I remember they did not talk about politics,” Hun Sen’s spokesman Eang Sophalleth told AFP of the meeting.

Thaksin, who remains a controversial and deeply divisive figure in Thailand, is due to play golf with Hun Sen and address senior officials on economics during his trip.

The former telecoms tycoon remains close to Hun Sen, who has called him an “eternal friend”, and even briefly acted as Cambodia’s economics adviser — inflaming tensions with the then Thai government.

Thaksin is accused by the opposition of being heavily involved in decisions by the government, which played on the fugitive former leader’s continuing popularity to secure a landslide win in July elections.

He avoided seeing Yingluck in Cambodia.

Yingluck’s Thursday talks with Hun Sen marked an improvement in ties between Thailand and Cambodia after deadly border clashes broke out earlier this year near an ancient temple on their shared border.

The leaders said they had agreed to redeploy troops away from the disputed area after the meeting.

The Hague-based International Court of Justice in July asked both nations to withdraw military personnel from around the Preah Vihear temple complex, but neither side has pulled out yet, though the border has been calm.

Reporter : AFP   Photo : AFP   Category : World News

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