Monday, 9 November 2009

Official contact with Cambodia to be made if Thaksin visits there: Thai Deputy PM

BANGKOK, Nov 09, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Thailand is going to officially contact with Cambodia if ousted former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra visits Cambodia on Nov. 12, Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said Monday.

Over the weekend, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced in Cambodia that Thaksin will visit Cambodia this week after he has been named the country's economic adviser.

On Nov. 12, Thaksin will hold a briefing with over 300 Cambodian economics experts at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Hun Sen said.

Suthep said Thaksin's visit to Cambodia is not unexpected and the Thai government will officially contact with Cambodia if Thaksin is in Cambodia on Nov. 12, Thai News Agency reported.

And, if Thaksin wants to use Cambodia as his base in a bid to damage Thailand, there will be another step to deal with this matter, Suthep said. But, Suthep does not explain in details.

However, in a related development, the Thai Foreign Ministry has prepared related document to send to Cambodia to extradite Thaksin to Thailand, if Thaksin visits Cambodia this week, Vice Foreign Minister Panich Vikitsreth said Sunday.

The Office of the Attorney General will request Cambodia to extradite Thaksin from Cambodia since the two countries have already signed an extradition treaty, Panich said.

After sending the request to Cambodia, Thailand will wait for Cambodia's legal procedures to be carried out, the vice foreign minister said.

But, if Cambodia denies the Thai request, Thailand will review the status of its bilateral relations with Cambodia, which is another level under diplomatic protocol, he said.

Currently, Thailand is reviewing all existing bilateral agreements and cooperation projects with Cambodia after Thaksin is appointed as the economic advisor to Cambodia's government.

The diplomatic retaliation between the two countries has occurred after Thaksin was officially appointed on Nov. 4 as the adviser of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Royal Government of Cambodia King Norodom Sihamoni.

The Cambodian government on Nov. 5 announced to recall its ambassador to Thailand in a move to respond to the Thai government 's earlier recall of its ambassador, Mr. Prasas Prasavinitchai, to Cambodia.

Thaksin was ousted by the military coup in September 2006, in accusation of corruption, and has been kept in exile since then.

He returned to Thailand in February 2008 to face corruption charges, but he later fled into exile again and was convicted in absentia.

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