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Pattaya Daily News

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15 November 2009 :: 13:11:38 pm 31335

Thai Pm: Diplomat Standoff Could End If Cambodia Reviews Its Role

BANGKOK, Nov 15 (TNA) -- Urging patriotic Thais to unite amid growing tensions with neighbouring Cambodia, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said Sunday that the ongoing problem between the two countries could end if the Cambodian government strictly follows international practice.
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Mr. Abhisit, now attending the three-day 17th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings in Singapore ending later Sunday, said in his weekly address aired on television and radio that relations between the two countries were good until Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen appointed fugitive, ousted former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra as economic advisor to the Cambodian administration earlier this month.

Diplomatic ties between Cambodia and Thailand worsened after both countries recalled their ambassadors, expelled one another’s first secretaries and the Cambodian government arrested a Thai man it accused of spying on Mr Thaksin?s flight schedule, but Thailand has said that the accusation was groundless against the Thai citizen. The Thai government cancelled a memorandum of understanding with Cambodia on maritime agreement which included shared access to undersea mineral resources.

Mr. Abhisit said his government had a clear understanding that the diplomatic discord should not affect the livelihood and trade conducted between peoples of the two countries on the border and that the problem would have to be resolved by the two governments.

The Thai prime minister, currently chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), reaffirmed that the dispute would not affect cooperation among members of ASEAN and between the bloc and its dialogue partners.

“What we (Thailand) are doing follows norms and international practices and we want to urge Cambodia to do the same,” Mr. Abhisit emphasised.

“If the Cambodian government reviews its stance and does everything as it was before the ASEAN summit last month,? said the Thai premier, ?I believe that with our cooperation and neighbourliness will run smoothly.”

The Thai premier also expressed regret that some groups of Thais ignited the problems.

“Now the most important thing is the solidarity of the Thai people, being patient (with others) and showing our sincerity that we want to be good neighbours by respecting rules” said Mr Abhisit. (TNA)

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No Thai confirmation of 2nd arrest in Cambodia

SINGAPORE, Nov 14 (TNA) — Thailand on Saturday could not confirm that a second Thai citizen was detained in Cambodia as reported by a Phnom Penh newspaper, according to Panithan Watanayakorn, deputy secretary-general to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

In a telephone interview from Singapore, Mr. Panithan, acting government spokesman, said he had received no report that a security official attached to the Thai Armed Forces Security Centre in Bangkok was arrested by Cambodian authorit ies.

The Khmer newspaper said an officer known only as ?Manit? was arrested at City Angkor, a hotel inSiem Reap where Thailand?s former premier Thaksin Shinawatra was staying.

Mr Thaksin arrived in Cambodia on Tuesday and, according to news reports, left early Saturday by private jet to an unknown destination.

The Armed Forces Security Centre, meanwhile, denied that anyone from its staff had been arrested in Cambodia and that no one was sent to that country to spy on Mr Thaksin.

Armed Forces spokesman Col Sitthichai Makkunchorn said there was no Security Centre staff named Manit but that the Cambodian newspaper should give his surname.

He affirmed that no Thai military personnel had gone to Cambodia and none had been arrested,

The information from the Cambodian side may inaccurate but the report had tarnished the Armed Forces Security Centre.

On Thursday, Cambodia arrested a Thai engineer in Phnom Penh on charges of spying on Mr Thaksin. The Thai government has denied the charges.

Thani Thongphakdi, Deputy Director-General of the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs Department of Information said the ministry had forwarded the letter to ask for the permission from Cambodian authorities to visit detained 31-year-old Siwarak Chothipong, an engineer at Cambodia Air Traffic Services (CATS).

He was accused of giving Mr Thaksin’s flight schedule to the first secretary at the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh.

Mr Thani said until now there was no reply from Cambodia giving such permission, but it is the weekend and no official is working. The ministry would closely follow up the request.

He added that there were four or five people working at the Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh and that Chalothorn Phaowibul, charge d’affaires, is the highest ranking Thai diplomatic staff there. The military attaches are currently stationed in Phnom Penh. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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