Hun Sen dissatisfied despite renewal of relations with Thailand
By Puy Kea
PHNOM PENH, Sept. 1 KYODO - Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said Wednesday he cannot be satisfied with relations with Thailand as long as the Thai military maintains a presence inside Cambodian territory.
He was commenting on the returns last week of the Thai ambassador to Phnom Penh and the Cambodian ambassador to Bangkok.
Thailand recalled its ambassador on Nov. 5 last year to protest Cambodia making former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra a government adviser.
Cambodia pulled its ambassador out of Bangkok the same day.
Hun Sen said the return of the ambassadors last week was ''only a change on the surface.''
''I am not satisfied and nor am smiling while you are shaking my hand and at the same time you step on my foot,'' Hun Sen said, adding the border conflict with Thailand has never been related to the appointment of Thaksin.
It is, he said, because the Thai military entered into Cambodian territory on July 15, 2008, just a week after Cambodia's Preah Vihear Temple, in the area of the incursion, was registered as World Heritage Site.
Hun Sen added the border conflict can only be resolved when the Thai parliament approves agreements struck by the Thai and Cambodian foreign ministers and Thai armed forces are redeployed away from the areas of conflict.
Thaksin sent a letter Aug. 22 resigning as an adviser to the Cambodian government and to Hun Sen for what were described as personal reasons.
Hun Sen said Wednesday that despite his reservations on relations he is ready to meet with Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva at any upcoming international meetings the two will attend to seek a solution to the border dispute.
Thailand claims a 4.6 square-kilometer piece of land near the Preah Vihear Temple that lies inside Cambodia according to a 1962 ruling by the International Court of Justice.
But since the temple was listed as a World Heritage Site more than two years ago, Thai and Cambodian troops have faced off in the area and deadly skirmishes have erupted on several occasions.