Monday, 9 November 2009

Thai Army Chief Phones to Apologize

Written by DAP NEWS -- Monday, 09 November 2009

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

Thai Army Region 2 Commander Lt Gen Veevalit Chornsamrit on Saturday phoned three times to apologize sorry to Cambodia Army Chief Chea Dara, according to a high ranking military source.

The apology came following the Cambodia army chief’s warning to Chornsamrit when he was quoted by Bangkok Post as saying that “If the war really breaks out, Thailand will be the winner.”

The Thai army chief warned the Cambodia army chief not to use strong words to Thailand over sealing the border. Thailand has expressed dissatisfaction with Cambodia after former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was given a job as Cambodian Government advisor and PM Hun Sen’s economic advisor.

Gen. Chea Dara strongly reacted to the remarks, saying that “I suggested that Veevalit take back his words urgently. If not, Cambodian soldiers will announce a war with them.”

“At bilateral talks on Friday afternoon at Red house, Gen. Veevalit himself begged us not to fight and use force, but we are waiting for the order from the Premier Hun Sen; to fight or not is at his request,” Chea Dara told DAP News Cambodia on Saturday.

About 30 minutes later, Thai army chief phoned three times Chea Dara to say sorry to Chea Dara, stressing that “What was issued by Bangkok Post was not our stance.”

“They say sorry to us so that we forgive them and we can have a good relationship with each other,” Chea Dara said.

Thai leaders have several times retracted their remarks made in the Bangkok Post or claimed to have been misquoted. Thai foreign Minister Kasit Piromya last month claimed he was misquoted by the Bangkok Post. Cambodia and Thai army chiefs on Friday met for bilateral talks at the border to ensure security and peace.

The discussions come amid rapidly worsening diplomatic ties. On Thursday evening the Cambodian Government recalled its ambassador to Thailand in a tit-for-tat response after the Thai Government’s earlier recall of its ambassador to Cambodia.

Situation at Pailin normal

The situation at the border in Pailin province was still normal on Saturday, even as relations between the two countries worsened after Thailand recalled its ambassador on Thursday, a high ranking Pailin official told DAP News Cambodia.

“The business of the local citizens is normal, it has not changed nor has anything of note occurred,” Ti Sokha, deputy Pailin provincial military chief, told DAP News Cambodia on Saturday.

“If Thailand wishes to seal the border, Thailand itself will lose benefits,” he said, claiming that the cross border trade was around 90/10 in Thailand’s favor.


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