Sunday, April 4, 2010

Cambodia's Deputy PM Suthep: PM Hun Sen pledges to bar Thaksin's entry

HUA HIN, April 4 (TNA) – Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban on Sunday
said Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen assured him he would not allow ousted
prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra to enter Cambodia and use it as a base to launch political attacks against Thailand.

Speaking to journalists after meeting with the Cambodian Prime Minister who arrived in this Thai resort town to attend the two-day Mekong Summit, Mr Suthep disclosed that Mr Hun Sen assured him during the 40-minute discussion that he would not let his personal relations with Mr Thaksin affect bilateral relations with Thailand.

“Mr Hun Sen gave assurances to me that he would not allow Mr Thaksin to enter Cambodia so long as current problem regarding the anti-Thai government red-shirted protest continues,” Mr Suthep said.

The Cambodian prime minister also stated that he did not want Thai people to think that Mr Thaksin used Cambodia as a base for political movements against the Thai government as Cambodian constitution prohibits such activities, Mr Suthep said.

The Cambodian prime minister also urged Thailand to help Cambodia restore
normal relations and said he had instructed Cambodian military officers along the border to refrain from taking any action that will cause resentment by Thai people, according to the Thai deputy prime minister.

However, Mr Suthep said he did not discuss with Mr Hun Sen regarding when the
ambassadors of the two countries will return to their offices.

Cambodia and Thailand have had a longstanding conflict over the disputed overlapping area near the 11th century Preah Vihear as border demarcation is still unclear, leading to sporadic clashes between soldiers of the two countries.

Relations between the two neighbouring countries have been strained after Phnom Penh rejected a formal request from Thailand to extradite Mr Thaksin and appointed him as an economic advisor to Cambodia last year.

The situation further deteriorated when the two kingdoms recalled their respective ambassadors in retaliatory actions. (TNA)

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