Saturday, 14 May 2011

Cambodia to postpone Thai expo slated for next week in Phnom Penh

via CAAI

PHNOM PENH, May 13 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia decided to postpone the Thai expo planned for next week in Phnom Penh, saying it is not the right time to hold such an expo.

"Due to recent restrictions on border trade by Thai military region 2, I am of the opinion that this is not the right time to promote Thai products in Cambodia," Cambodian Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh said in a letter to Thai embassy in Phnom Penh on Friday.

Cambodia's decision is a response to the 2nd Thai Army command' s order on Tuesday to halt a further exports of fuel and other products into Cambodia, claiming the Cambodian military may need them to support their troops in operations against Thai forces along the disputed border.

"The export ban will last until the border situation really returns to normal," the Bangkok Post online reported, citing the order letter of the 2nd Army command.

On Wednesday, Thailand announced that it would organize the second largest scale expo of Thai products in Phnom Penh from May 19-22.

"We cannot guarantee the reaction of Cambodian visitors to such exhibitions after Thai's behavior," Cham Prasidh said.

"Therefore, I have issued instructions to the Department of Trade Promotion under the Ministry of Commerce to contact the organizers of the Thai exhibition 2011 to postpone the said event until more favorable time comes," added the minister.

Jiranan Wongmongkol, director of the Thai embassy's Foreign Trade Promotion Office in Phnom Penh, which is the event organizer, said Friday that the embassy has received the letter and agreed to cancel the event.

"We have no choice, we have to postpone the event," she said. "We don't know when it will be re-arranged."

Cambodia and Thailand has border dispute just a week after Cambodia's Preah Vihear temple was listed as World Heritage site on July 7, 2008. Thailand claims the ownership of 4.6 sq km of scrub next to the temple.

Since then, both sides have built up military forces along the border, and periodic clashes between the two countries' soldiers have resulted in the deaths of troops on both sides.

The latest flare-up occurred from April 22 until May 3 at the 13th century Ta Moan temple and Ta Krabei temple in Oddar Meanchey province, leaving 19 people, on both sides, killed and nearly 100, 000 civilians evacuated for safe shelters.

Editor: Xiong Tong

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