5 Nov 2009

Thailand recalls ambassador to protest Cambodia

Thailand on Thursday recalled its ambassador to Phnom Penh in protest at Cambodia's appointment of convicted ex-Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra as economic adviser to Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen and his government.
The Thai government will demand reviews of bilateral agreements and commitments signed between Thailand and Cambodia by both present and past governments, according to the statement issued on Thursday.

Thai Ambassador to Phnom Penh Prasas Prasavinitchai is scheduled to arrive in Bangkok at 3pm.

The Cambodian government appointed fugitive Thaksin as economic adviser to Hun Sen and the Cambodian government in an order signed by Cambodia's King Norodom Sihamoni on Wednesday.

Hun Sen announced upon his arrival in Thailand in October to attend the Asean Summit that he had offered Thaksin, who he regards as a friend, a residence and a job as his economic adviser.

The Thai Foreign Ministry's decision to recall the ambassador is the strongest protest made in years.

The statement also mentioned that the ongoing cooperation between the two countries would be put on hold for the time being.

Foreign Minister's secretary Chavanont Intarakomalsut said the appointment of Thaksin as Hun Sen's adviser was considered as intervening in the Thai justice system.

"The appointment of Thaksin as the adviser to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen is regarded as an intervention in Thailand's internal affairs and an insult to the Thai justice system," he said in a press conference.

The appointment clearly showed that the Khmer premier failed to distinguish between his personal interests and the mutual interests of the two countries, he said.


Thailand needs to make diplomatic retaliation against Cambodia: Abhisit

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said Thursday that Thailand needed to make diplomatic retaliation against Cambodia's interference of Thailand's internal affairs.

"The Foreign Ministry has to take action so that Cambodia will learn about the feelings of Thai people," Abhisit said.

"Since Cambodia mentioned our internal affairs, we had to retaliate in line with the diplomatic protocol."

He was speaking to reporters after the Foreign Ministry announce the recalling of its ambassador to Phnom Penh after Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen appointed former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra his economic advisor.

The Nation

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