Monday, 9 November 2009

Cambodia to withdraw part of its troops from border areas with Thailand

November 09, 2009

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Senon Sunday afternoon announced that Cambodia has planed to withdraw part of its troops from the border areas with Thailand.

Hun Sen made the announcement at a press conference held at the Phnom Penh International Airport where he arrived from the first Mekong-Japan Summit from Nov. 6 to 7, 2009 in Tokyo, Japan.

"What I should start with today is that after examining the border issue between Cambodia and Thailand, the situation is normal, quiet, then we decide to withdraw paratroops number 911 from Preah Vihear area to the camp, and one week from now, complete withdrawal," Hun Sen said, adding that "The dispute is not between the two nationalities of Cambodian and Thai, or the two peoples, nor military and ministry between the two countries, but Abhisit and Hun Sen or Bangkok and Phnom Penh."

Pal Saraenn, commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF), told Xinhua that so far, the situation in border areas was calm and stable.

Relations between the two neighboring countries were strained this past week when Cambodia named ousted former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra its economic adviser. Thailand recalled its ambassador Thursday, and Cambodia followed suit.

Hun Sen also told reporters that Thaksin Shinawatro would arrive in Cambodia to give an economic lecture on Thursday. He said that "Thaksin will make a lecture on economic topics in Phnom Penh on Nov. 12 in the morning to 300 people. I cannot tell you when and from where he will come through, but he will make a lecture here."

ASEAN in its statement on Saturday appealed to both countries to "exercise maximum restraint."

Thaksin was ousted in a 2006 military coup for alleged massive corruption and other charges. His supporters say he should be pardoned and returned to power. Since the coup, Thaksin has lived abroad to escape a corruption conviction and two-year prison sentence.

Thailand Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said on Saturday he has no plan yet to seal its border with Cambodia despite a diplomatic row, but will seek to extradite the former prime minister if he goes to Cambodia to become an adviser.

Thaksin, born in Thailand's northern province Chiang Mai in 1949, became one of the richest people in Thailand by setting up telecommunications companies like Shin Corporation and Advanced Info Service before entering politics.

Thaksin entered politics by joining the Phalang Dharma Party (Power of Justice Party) in 1994, and once served as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister in two administrations.

"Thaksin can stay in Cambodia as a guest of Cambodia. He can also be my adviser on the economy," Hun Sen said as he arrived in the beach resort of Hua Hin for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit last month. The Cambodian leader repeated an earlier invitation to Thaksin to stay in Cambodia and rejected Thai claims that Phnom Penh would have to extradite the tycoon.

"Our concern is for humanitarian reasons, it is friends helping friends. The internal affairs of Thailand would be left for Thai people to resolve, I am not interfering," Hun Sen said earlier.

Source: Xinhua

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