(Posted by CAAI News Media)
BANGKOK — Thailand recalled its ambassador to Cambodia Thursday after Phnom Penh gave a job to fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, further raising tensions between the countries.
The Cambodian government said on Wednesday night that it had appointed Thaksin as an economics adviser, riling Bangkok, which is trying to bring Thaksin home to face justice three years after he was ousted in a coup.
"We have recalled the ambassador as the first diplomatic retaliation measure to let the Cambodian government know the dissatisfaction of the Thai people," Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva told reporters.
"Last night's announcement by the Cambodian government harmed the Thai justice system and really affected Thai public sentiment," Abhisit said.
Abhisit said aid to Cambodia would also be halted, but checkpoints on the disputed border between the two countries would remain open and "people-to-people relations would not be affected."
A government official said earlier that the ambassador to Phnom Penh would be recalled by Thursday evening in retaliation for Cambodia's "interference" in Thai politics.
"The reason is that the appointment of Thaksin is considered interfering in our internal politics because Thaksin is still actively involved in politics," Chavanond Intarakomalyasut, secretary to Thailand's foreign affairs minister, told AFP.
Thaksin remains a hugely influential figure in Thailand, where he has stirred up mass protests by the so-called "Red Shirt" movement against Abhisit's government in the past year.
Ties between Cambodia and Thailand have been difficult since July 2008 amid an ongoing border conflict over land surrounding an 11th century temple which has claimed several lives