(Posted by CAAI News Media)
BANGKOK, Nov 8 (TNA) -- Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Sunday urged patriotic Thais to stand with his government, saying that the current diplomat spat with neighbouring Cambodia undertaken by his government is for the “advantage and dignity of the country” and will not mushroom to affect relations between the two peoples, especially cross-border trade.
Speaking during his weekly television and radio address, Mr. Abhisit said the problem between the two countries arose after ex-prime minister Gen. Chavalit Yongchaiyudh traveled to Cambodia and the Khmer government appointed fugitive, ousted former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra as economic advisor to its government.
The Cambodian government also criticised Thai judicial system, Mr Abhisit said, and the Thai government was forced to retaliate. No country in the world would allow such criticisms.
Mr. Abhisit said he believed the negative criticism was made because the Cambodian government had received inaccurate information.
It is necessary for the present Thai government to review agreements signed by the then government of Mr. Thaksin and the Cambodian government, especially regarding overlapping maritime boundaries and the joint development of the Gulf of Thailand, since the ousted premier has now become economic advisor (to the Khmer government), Mr. Abhisit said.
He said he had advised Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen earlier not to bring his personal relation with Mr. Thaksin as the main reason in inviting the latter to stay in Cambodia as it could “hamper cooperation between the two countries.”
Mr. Thaksin is a businessman and there are reports that he may have a vested interest in maritime resources, he said.
Both countries have recalled their ambassadors, and Thai Foreign Affairs Minister Kasit Piromya said earlier he would ask the cabinet to consider revoking the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two countries dealing with overlapping maritime boundaries in the Gulf of Thailand.
Thailand’s Supreme Court Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions sentenced Mr Thaksin to a two-year prison term in absentia after finding him guilty of a conflict of interest in Bangkok’s Ratchadaphisek land purchase case in 2003.
Mr. Abhisit also urged Thais who travel to Cambodia for gambling to stop going there as it would send a signal to the Cambodian government to treat Thailand in a practical way and to “respect each other.” (TNA)