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Posts Tagged ‘relations’

Friendship concert marks cooperation relations between Vietnam and

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:08 am

A ‘friendship concert’ featuring Chinese and Vietnamese musicians will take place at the Ho Chi Minh City Conservatory of Music on December 12.


The concert will present music lovers with sweet melodies from compositions including: Flying Partridge; Song of the Chu Kingdom; Song of Zhaojun; Milou River Carriccio; Fishing Birds Playing on Water; Fishermen’s Song at Dusk; and Flower music.


Musicians of the China Conservatory of Music and Ho Chi Minh City Conservatory of Music will join the event.


The music show aims to mark the development and cooperation for better relations between China and Vietnam.

Source: SGGP

Photos celebrate Vietnam- Romania relations

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2010 at 4:53 am

A photo exhibition in celebration of 60 th anniversary of Vietnam – Romania diplomatic relations opened in Hanoi on Nov. 22.


The exhibition named “Vietnam- Romania, 60 years of diplomatic relations” was jointly held by the Vietnam Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Romanian Embassy in Vietnam .


Some 100 photos depicting historical moments in bilateral relations, especially the meetings of two countries’ leaders were on show.


Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Romanian Ambassador to Vietnam Dumitru Olaru said the event would help boost actively bilateral ties despite fluctuations in the region and the world. He also expressed his hope that the photo exhibition would make deep impression on the public and international friends of the friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the two nations.


The exhibition will last till Nov. 29.

Source: SGGP

Vietnam contributes to good relations between ASEAN and partners

In Uncategorized on October 30, 2010 at 2:10 pm




Vietnam contributes to good relations between ASEAN and partners


QĐND – Saturday, October 30, 2010, 20:57 (GMT+7)

State President Nguyen Minh Triet received leaders attending the 17th ASEAN Summit and related summits, including the East Asia Summit (EAS) in Hanoi on October 30.


He confirmed Vietnam has continued to strengthen bilateral and multilateral relations with countries in the region and the world, contributing to the development of good relations between ASEAN and its partners.


Vietnam hopes ASEAN’s partners will continue cooperating and assisting the region in carrying out its goal of building a successful ASEAN community, and support the bloc’s key role in regional forums, he noted.


Earlier, President Triet welcomed the President of the Republic of Korea (RoK) Lee Myung-bak, who was attending the 17th ASEAN Summit and related summits.


He applauded the Korean President for joining the events and affirmed that the relationship between Vietnam and the RoK is developing well, and the two sides should push for high-ranking visits to reinforce trust and bilateral cooperative opportunities.


Vietnam wants Korean businesses to increase investment in infrastructure, high technology and diplomacy to strengthen the relationship between the two countries, he said.        


President Triet highly appreciated the fact that President Lee Myung-bak paid attention to and dealt with the sad situations of some Vietnamese brides in Korea, and Vietnam wants both sides to exchange ideas to build a legal framework to protect Vietnamese brides in the RoK. He emphasised that coordination to resolve the situation recently demonstrated mutual trust, sharing and understanding.


The Korean President confirmed his visit to Vietnam last year had resolved many issues and helped the two countries overcome difficulties. He said the Korean people are very sad about the unfortunate events involving Vietnamese brides. The Korean Government has added regulations concerning this issue and the Korean people also increased their awareness and now pay more attention to the situation of foreign brides.


He said at present, there are 14 countries providing labourers to the RoK and Vietnam has the largest number, Korean businesses always want to use Vietnamese labourers because they are industrious and highly-skilled. He also said he believed that, as an intelligent and hard-working country, Vietnam will soon become one of the strongest in the South East Asian region.        


President Lee Myung-buk invited President Triet to visit the RoK and said he hopes the two countries will cooperate in international forums.


On the occasion, the Korean President informed the Vietnamese President that the RoK had finished procedures to prepare for importing dragon fruit, one of Korea’s favourite fruits, from Vietnam.


Source: VOV


Source: QDND

Colombia, Venezuela restore diplomatic relations

In Uncategorized on August 11, 2010 at 11:21 am

The leaders of Colombia and Venezuela have re-established diplomatic relations, saying they are starting to repair confidence undermined by years of recriminations between the two countries.


The announcement came after a four-hour meeting Tuesday between Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Colombia’s new leader, Juan Manuel Santos, restoring ties that Chavez severed last month in response to accusations that Venezuela has become a haven for Colombian rebels.

Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos, right, receives, from Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, a biography of Simon Bolivar by Felipe Larrazabal as a present during a joint press conference in Santa Marta, Colombia, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010

Santos said the rapprochement between two men with “so many and such frequent differences, who decide to turn the page and think of the future … that’s something I think we have to celebrate.”


Santos told reporters after the meeting that Chavez had given assurances “he is not going to allow the presence of outlaw groups in his territory.”


Chavez said the neighboring countries are starting down a new road after years of often prickly relations under Santos’ predecessor, Alvaro Uribe. Uribe’s administration accused Chavez’s socialist-oriented government of aiding the rebels and turning a blind eye to rebel leaders and guerrilla camps in Venezuelan territory.


Chavez reiterated that he doesn’t support the Colombian rebels or any other insurgent group.


“I’ve said it a million times: The Venezuelan government that I lead neither supports nor allows, nor will permit, the presence of guerrillas, or terrorism or drug trafficking,” Chavez said.


“I need the president to believe in me,” Chavez said. “Believe me … we haven’t found a single guerrilla camp,” he added.


The two presidents said they will appoint ambassadors as soon as possible and will work to rebuild trade that has fallen dramatically in the past year.


They also said Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin will travel to Caracas soon to work on creating multiple joint commissions, including one to oversee security along the Colombian-Venezuelan border.


During repeated disagreements with Uribe’s government, Chavez blasted Colombia’s close ties with Washington and Uribe’s decision to give U.S. troops expanded access to Colombian military bases.


The latest flare-up came July 22 when Chavez broke off diplomatic ties after Uribe’s government publicly presented photos, videos and maps of what it said were Colombian rebel camps inside Venezuela. Chavez accused Uribe of trying to stir up a war in his final days in office.


Santos, a U.S.-educated economist who was elected in a landslide and sworn in Saturday, was previously Uribe’s defense minister. There has been friction between Santos and Chavez in the past.


But after the talks in Santa Marta on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, Santos said they aim to look forward from this point on. “We’re starting from zero.”


Santos has promised to continue Uribe’s hard line against Colombia’s rebels — the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and the smaller National Liberation Army — while also being open to dialogue.


He is moving to repair frayed ties with Ecuador as well as Venezuela.


In a joint statement laying out principles for cooperation, Chavez and Santos agreed to seek “transparent, direct, respectful dialogue.”


The two leaders also agreed to boost cooperation between their foreign ministers to jointly come up with a strategy to deal with the situation along the border — ranging from economic problems to security — and prevent the presence of illegal armed groups such as rebels or paramilitary fighters along the border.

The five joint commissions they agreed to create are to focus on issues including security, trade and payment of debts, plans for social spending along the border, and other areas including joint work on infrastructure projects.

The commission dealing with debt is to address a request for payment by Colombian exporters who say they are owed about $700 million for products sold to Venezuelan companies. Venezuela maintains strict controls on foreign currency trading, and a government agency provides dollars to businesses at official exchange rates to import approved goods.

Trade between the countries fell sharply in the past year after Chavez froze relations with Uribe’s government to protest Colombia’s decision to grant the U.S. military expanded access to its military bases.

Chavez and Santos met at a colonial-era estate where 19th century independence hero Simon Bolivar died. Chavez, who views Bolivar as the inspiration of his socialist movement, said it was appropriate to be making amends at a place he considers sacred.

Chavez expressed optimism they would begin to “rebuild what was broken to pieces.”

Source: SGGP

US official optimistic about Vietnam-US relations

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2010 at 6:20 pm




US official optimistic about Vietnam-US relations


QĐND – Thursday, July 01, 2010, 21:19 (GMT+7)

“I am really proud of the fact that the Vietnam-US relationship is very good and we have every reason to expect that it will continue to get better in the future,” says US National Security Advisor General James Jones.


On July 11, 1995, the then US President Bill Clinton, announced the formal normalization of diplomatic relations with Vietnam. Over the past 15 years, Vietnam-US relations have constantly developed, resulting in beneficial outcomes in various fields and with mutual respect and goodwill from both sides.


Marking the 15th anniversary of Vietnam–US diplomatic relations, this year Jones granted an interview to a VOV reporter on the future prospects for bilateral ties.


Reporter: Could you please review the Vietnam-US relationship over the past 15 years?


General Jones: First of all I am really very proud of the fact that the relationship is very good one and we have every reason to expect that it will continue to improve it better.


Obviously, I think it started with the help and compassion that the Vietnamese government showed in our efforts to recover those missing in action (MIA) and we appreciate that very much. This grew into a more normal relationship which is highlighted by our trade relations. Starting at only a few hundred million US dollars, it is now a US$16-billion trade relationship, which is remarkable and there is no reason why that shouldn’t continue and even grow.


We have Vietnam as chair of ASEAN and we have, I think, a very interesting visit with a US navy ship commanded by a young man who came from Vietnam and rose to the commandership in the US Navy, which I think is a wonderful human interest story. And over here, we have quite a few people who came from Vietnam originally and who now travel freely back and forward to see their families and I have a very close group of friends who own a barbershop in my town so I know about their families and they all have families in Vietnam and when they come back they talk about the wonderful progress that Vietnamese society have made in the fields of medicine and education.


So this is a very strong bond and I am personally very proud of that.


Reporter: How do you expect relations between the US and Vietnam to develop in the future? And which spheres will be prioritised to promote bilateral relations?


General Jones: I think that the ties will continue to grow. There are no barriers to a much closer and growing relationship. We think that Vietnam has come along so quickly that it can now exert some leadership in the region. Vietnam can now play a leadership role by showing examples of a better way for countries to progress and provide for a welfare system.


I think that we have a balance, though it depends on how the world changes. In a few years it could be a security relationship in other years it could be trade but I think the growing friendship, the trust and the confidence are there and very strong and I think they will  continue to develop.


Reporter: What is Vietnam’s role in the US policy towards ASEAN and Asia? And what do you expect Vietnam to do for ASEAN?


General Jones: I think because of the Vietnam’s success, there will be a general expectation from other countries that you should lead and lead by example. . Vietnam is on the threshold of becoming a very responsible nation which should be capable of leading on big issues in the region and on global matters.


Reporter: Vietnam and the US currently have some differences on freedom, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion, do you think the two countries will settle these issues? And how they will be settled?


General Jones: Some of these issues take a long time. We certainly offer ourselves to the world for criticism where we sometimes fall short. We recognize that we have a free society with the ability to self-criticize. Are we living up to our values? Do we do what we say we’re going to do, if we don’t we’ll correct it.


As I speak, I am very optimistic, like friends who can agree to discuss all kinds of things without being overly sensitive. And I think that as long as our leaders show goodwill and the willingness to work together, these issues will be resolved over time and we will find that a firm foundation.


Reporter: After 15 years of normalization, despite certain differences on some issues, the relationship between Vietnam and US has developed to its highest level on various issues, including security, national defense and nuclear cooperation. What is your opinion of such cooperation?


General Jones: I think on that a broad range of issues that define bilateral relations where Vietnam is concerned it is very good and has potential for the future. I think that the relationship will continue to develop, that we will engage in many more issues, for example, education, cultural exchanges, scientific exchanges, energy and climate change are huge issues for every country.


We have to worry about things like the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and terrorism which can appear in any country. So in this very small, much more globalized world  where communications are so quick, it is very important that we remain engaged in all of these issues and let the relationship grow as far as it can.


Reporter: As US National Security advisor, how does the US-Vietnam relationship contribute to the Asia Pacific region’s security?


General Jones: It is one of bright lights in our security relationship I have highlighted the tremendous effort that we have made in trade. Good trade relationship means greater stability for people in Vietnam and elsewhere and that translates to more security.


But I think that with regard to the Asia Pacific region, the US considers itself an Asia Pacific country as well. The peaceful development of the relationships between every country on the Pacific rim is part of our national strategy to make the world a safer and more peaceful place through better understanding, exchanging views and greater cooperation across a whole variety of issues, not just military to military.


Security in the 21st century is far more about how we handle our climate, energy and trade, scientific cooperation, and education. These are things we should be worried about in common. If we able to do that we all prosper and benefit. That is why I think the future for the US and Vietnam is very bright.


Reporter: Does President Obama have a plan to visit Vietnam in the near future? What kind of issues will he raise at the ASEAN-US Summit this year?


General Jones: Last year, President Obama spent more time out of the country than any other president in his first year of office. But I am quite sure that at some point, the president will visit this very important region.


I am also happy to hear that the US Secretary of State  Hillary Clinton also has plans to visit Vietnam, so we will have a very senior person representing our government, and the issues that I think she will raise will be will pretty much what we have talked about already.


Reporter: Thank you.


Source: VOV


Source: QDND

Switzerland prioritises economic relations with Vietnam

In Uncategorized on May 18, 2010 at 1:03 am




Switzerland prioritises economic relations with Vietnam


QĐND – Tuesday, May 18, 2010, 7:56 (GMT+7)

Vietnam has become an attractive destination for Swiss investors. Switzerland attaches great importance to expanding economic relation with Vietnam, which is one of the seven prioritised countries receiving Switzerland’s development assistance.


The statement was made by Swiss State Secretary for Economic Affairs Jean Daniel Gerber on May 17 at the Vietnam-Switzerland Business Forum in Zurich city, which was attended by President Nguyen Minh Triet and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem.


Addressing the forum, President Triet expressed his delight at the fine development in the Vietnam-Switzerland relationship, especially in political and economic fields. “This has represented the mutual understanding and close relationship between the two countries. More and more Swiss businesses effectively invested in Vietnam,” he said.


President Triet emphasised that his ongoing visit to Switzerland aims to tighten cooperative ties between the two countries, particularly in trade, economics and investment.


Mr Triet thanked Switzerland for the great assistance to Vietnam through the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) treatment, the generalized preferential tariffs (GPT), and especially the official development assistance (ODA) and human resource development programme.


He affirmed that Swiss investors are enjoying favourable conditions in Vietnam thanks to the country’s socio-political stability, high economic growth, good investment environment and big labour and consumption market, as well as its law and policy on foreign investment protection.


Swiss State Secretary for Economic Affairs Jean Daniel Gerber highlighted his visit to Vietnam in July 2009, saying that Swiss businesses have huge opportunities in Vietnam, especially in banking, insurance, service, tourism and pharmaceutical sectors.


He said that over the past 10 years, bilateral trade value has increased five times over, reaching US$2.6 billion in 2009. Currently, Switzerland ranks fourth among Vietnam’s largest export markets.


During the forum, in presence of President Triet, a number of Vietnamese businesses signed contracts to buy Swiss fertilizers and export handicraft products to the country.


Before attending the business forum, President Triet received leaders from Credit Suisse, a leading financial company in Switzerland and the world.


Credit Suisse’s officials pledged to provide capital for Vietnam’s main projects and expressed their willingness to help Vietnam train human resources for the financial sector.


The same day, Mr Triet met with the President of FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), Joseph Blatter. Mr Triet thanked Mr Blatter for his feelings and assistance to Vietnamese football and said he highly valued FIFA’s programmes and projects to help Vietnam develop in the sport. The State president also briefed the FIFA leader on the effectiveness of the GOAL (Greater Opportunity for Athletes to Learn) project being carried out in Vietnam.

President Triet affirmed that Vietnam is professionalizing football step by step and proposed FIFA continue to assist the Vietnam Football Federation in building its infrastructure and training managers and referees at international level. He expressed his wish the FIFA president will create favourable conditions for world strong teams to arrive in Vietnam for friendly matches and support Vietnam in hosting the world junior women football championship in 2012 or 2014.


For his part, FIFA President Blatter confirmed his organization will always provide technical and financial assistance for national football federations, including Vietnam, through projects like GOAL and Asia vision.


Mr Blatter praised Vietnamese football for its recent dramatic progress, especially in terms of professionalization. He expressed his belief that Vietnam will soon reap higher achievements in continental and international football arenas.


President Triet later left Zurich for Bern.


Source: VOV


Source: QDND

Improvement in Thailand-Cambodia relations blows cool breeze to ASEAN

In Uncategorized on April 7, 2010 at 11:49 am

“Cambodia will not allow former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to use Cambodia as a political base to attack Thailand,” Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen declared during a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand Suthep Thaugsuban on April 4 in Hua Hin, Thailand.

From left to right: Cabodian PM Hun Sen, Lao PM Buasone Bouphavanh , Thailand PM Abhisit Vejjajiva and Vietnamese PM Nguyen Tan Dung in the Hua Hin conference on Mekong River on April 5, 2010.

PM Hun Sen said during the Mekong River Commission (MRC) Summit, held for the first time in Hua Hin, that the Cambodian constitution prohibits such political activity. He added that Mr. Thaksin would not be allowed to enter Cambodia in the midst of Thailand’s political unrest.  


Since a dispute over ownership of the historic Preah Vihear temple broke out in 2008, relations between Cambodia and Thailand have been strained.


Cambodia’s recent comments on the contentious issue of Mr. Thaksin, however, have led the public to believe that icy relations between the two Southeast Asian neighbors may be beginning to thaw.


Responding to the statement of his Cambodian counterpart, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva considered Mr. Hun Sen’s comments a positive signal towards the normalization of relations between Thailand and Cambodia.


PM Abhisit made the statement at a press conference April 5 after the closing of the MRC Summit.
 
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand will consider re-deploying the ambassadorial ranks in Cambodia step-by-step,” said Prime Minister Abhisit.


Cambodia-Thailand relations soured gradually when Prime Minister Hun Sen appointed Mr. Thaksin as an economic advisor in October 2009 and rejected a request to extradite him to the Thai government.  


The already-strained relations between the two countries were exacerbated by Cambodia’s appointment of Mr. Thaksin as an economic advisor and Thailand responded by re-calling the Thai Ambassador to Cambodia.


Cambodia retaliated likewise and refused aid from Thailand for a project to revamp the road linking Poipet to Siem Reap.


Most recently, just hours before Prime Minister Hun Sen traveled to Hua Hin to attend the MRC Summit, a group from the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) staged a protest at the conference opposing Mr. Hun Sen.


The surprising statement by Mr. Hun Sen is being hailed by many as a breath of fresh air, dispelling Cambodia’s tense political relationship with Thailand.


Regarding the appointment of Mr. Thaksin as Cambodia’s economic adviser, PM Hun Sen asserted once again that Cambodia needs a consultant for economic development, but that the country clearly distinguishes personal relationships from national interest and will not let the “Thaksin issue” affect relations between Cambodia and Thailand.


In three day’s time, the 16th ASEAN Summit will take place in Hanoi. The renewed positive Thai-Cambodian relations are seen as a good sign ahead of the major ASEAN event.

Source: SGGP

Improvement in Thailand-Cambodia relations blows cool breeze to ASEAN

In Uncategorized on April 7, 2010 at 11:41 am

“Cambodia will not allow former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to use Cambodia as a political base to attack Thailand,” Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen declared during a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand Suthep Thaugsuban on April 4 in Hua Hin, Thailand.

From left to right: Cabodian PM Hun Sen, Lao PM Buasone Bouphavanh , Thailand PM Abhisit Vejjajiva and Vietnamese PM Nguyen Tan Dung in the Hua Hin conference on Mekong River on April 5, 2010.

PM Hun Sen said during the Mekong River Commission (MRC) Summit, held for the first time in Hua Hin, that the Cambodian constitution prohibits such political activity. He added that Mr. Thaksin would not be allowed to enter Cambodia in the midst of Thailand’s political unrest.  


Since a dispute over ownership of the historic Preah Vihear temple broke out in 2008, relations between Cambodia and Thailand have been strained.


Cambodia’s recent comments on the contentious issue of Mr. Thaksin, however, have led the public to believe that icy relations between the two Southeast Asian neighbors may be beginning to thaw.


Responding to the statement of his Cambodian counterpart, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva considered Mr. Hun Sen’s comments a positive signal towards the normalization of relations between Thailand and Cambodia.


PM Abhisit made the statement at a press conference April 5 after the closing of the MRC Summit.
 
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand will consider re-deploying the ambassadorial ranks in Cambodia step-by-step,” said Prime Minister Abhisit.


Cambodia-Thailand relations soured gradually when Prime Minister Hun Sen appointed Mr. Thaksin as an economic advisor in October 2009 and rejected a request to extradite him to the Thai government.  


The already-strained relations between the two countries were exacerbated by Cambodia’s appointment of Mr. Thaksin as an economic advisor and Thailand responded by re-calling the Thai Ambassador to Cambodia.


Cambodia retaliated likewise and refused aid from Thailand for a project to revamp the road linking Poipet to Siem Reap.


Most recently, just hours before Prime Minister Hun Sen traveled to Hua Hin to attend the MRC Summit, a group from the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) staged a protest at the conference opposing Mr. Hun Sen.


The surprising statement by Mr. Hun Sen is being hailed by many as a breath of fresh air, dispelling Cambodia’s tense political relationship with Thailand.


Regarding the appointment of Mr. Thaksin as Cambodia’s economic adviser, PM Hun Sen asserted once again that Cambodia needs a consultant for economic development, but that the country clearly distinguishes personal relationships from national interest and will not let the “Thaksin issue” affect relations between Cambodia and Thailand.


In three day’s time, the 16th ASEAN Summit will take place in Hanoi. The renewed positive Thai-Cambodian relations are seen as a good sign ahead of the major ASEAN event.

Source: SGGP

Vietnam, Germany celebrating 35th year of diplomatic relations

In Vietnam Society on January 18, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet and his German counterpart Horst Kohler will sponsor the “German Year in Vietnam 2010” to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the two nations’ diplomatic relationship, the German Embassy in Vietnam has announced.









The year 2010 is an important one for bilateral relations between Germany and Vietnam with a wide range of events and activities planned to reflect the breadth and depth of the two nations’ relationship.


The German Year in Vietnam will focus on four areas: environment, urban development, arts and discussions.
 
A host of workshops, fairs, and exhibitions are planned for the topics of environment and urban development, focusing on transport, architecture, environmental protection and climate change.
 
In the arts category, German photography, movies, dancing and fashion will be highlighted via concerts, photo and film festivals, dance and opera performances, and book and fashion shows.
 
Other workshops and seminars will be held on the topics of water and forestry issues, economics, immigrants, cultural preservation, and Germany-Vietnam diplomatic ties.


Youth cultural exchanges, chess competitions, visits from German politicians, and discussions on educational cooperation, will be held throughout the year.
 
This year will also see a high-ranking international seminar held to discuss economic cooperation between Vietnam and Germany.


The German Foreign Affairs Ministry and Goethe Institute in Ho Chi Minh City will be responsible for holding the year-long activities to draw attention to German culture in particular and Europe in general.


Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Thaksin departs, Cambodia-Thai relations in trouble

In World on November 14, 2009 at 10:31 am

Fugitive former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra left Cambodia on Saturday, ending a contentious four-day visit that deepened a diplomatic crisis between the neighbours.








Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen (R) talks to former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra (L) in Siem Reap province, some 314 kilometers northwest of Phnom Penh on November 14, 2009 before Thaksin was due to leave Cambodia. (AFP Photo)

Thaksin, who was toppled by a military coup in 2006 and is living abroad to avoid a jail term for corruption in Thailand, departed the tourist hub Siem Reap by private jet, Cambodia’s deputy cabinet minister Prak Sokhon confirmed.


Officials would not disclose his destination. Thaksin has travelled widely since leaving Thailand for exile in August last year, but has based himself in Dubai, while continuing to have a major influence in politics in his homeland.


His visit, to take up a new role as economic adviser to the Cambodian government, created a diplomatic storm between the already bickering nations.


Bangkok was outraged by the appointment and ties plummeted further when Cambodia refused to extradite him to Thailand on the grounds that his graft conviction was politically motivated.


Both countries recalled their respective ambassadors and Thaksin hit out at the Thai government during an economic lecture in the capital Phnom Penh, accusing Thai rulers of “false patriotism”.


Before his morning departure, Thaksin chatted at a hotel with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, a close ally, and political supporters who had travelled from Thailand to meet him.


Some 50 members of parliament from Thailand’s main pro-Thaksin party, Puea Thai, waved him off as his plane left the airport.


Cambodia enflamed the row Thursday when it arrested a Thai man in Phnom Penh on charges of spying on Thaksin and expelled the first secretary to Thailand’s embassy.


Thailand reciprocated, expelling Cambodia’s first secretary from Bangkok.


Siwarak Chothipong, 31, who works for the Cambodia Air Traffic Service, is accused of supplying the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh with details of Thaksin’s flight schedule, according to Cambodian police.


Chavanond Intarakomalyasut, secretary to Thailand’s foreign minister, said the ministry had submitted a request to visit the detained suspect, which Cambodia’s interior ministry confirmed it was considering.


“We have to see him, whatever happens,” Chavanond said. “Thailand categorically denies all of the spy allegations.”


Hun Sen, who had personally invited Thaksin to Cambodia, has strongly defended his friendship with Thaksin and even played a round of golf with him in Siem Reap on Friday.


Thailand has put all talks and cooperation programmes with Cambodia on hold, torn up an oil and gas exploration deal signed during Thaksin’s time in power and placed under review two road-building projects worth 42 million dollars.


Chris Baker, a Bangkok-based political analyst who wrote a biography of Thaksin, said the visit had stoked a “dangerous” row between the two countries, adding Hun Sen would be unwise to fuel it further.


“If Hun Sen wants to take it further it’s very easy indeed, but I can’t see at the moment what the utility for him would be,” said Baker.


“I think he’s got it just where he wants it.”


Tensions were already high between the two countries following a series of deadly military clashes over disputed territory near the 11th century Preah Vihear temple on their border.


The row comes during a weekend summit of regional leaders with US President Barack Obama, although Cambodia’s foreign ministry said Friday it did not want the dispute raised during the historic meeting.


Twice-elected Thaksin fled Thailand in August 2008, a month before a court sentenced him to two years in jail in a conflict of interest case.


He had returned to Thailand just months earlier for the first time since the coup in 2006.


He has retained enormous influence in Thai politics by stirring up protests against the current government, and analysts said that in Hun Sen he had found a new way to push for a return to power.


 


Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

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