PHNOM PENH, April 2 KYODO
Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya has apologized to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen for describing him as a ''gangster,'' it was learned Thursday. In a letter addressed to Hun Sen, a copy of which was seen by Kyodo News, Kasit said, ''Do kindly accept my deep apology for such an unfortunate incident and the unintentional cause of misunderstanding.'' In the letter dated Wednesday, Kasit said that the word he used in the Thai language means ''a person who is lion-hearted, a courageous and magnanimous gentleman.'' The letter of apology follows criticism by Hun Sen of Kasit for using ''hardly accepted words'' against him and a request for a clarification or apology. ''He insults me by calling me a gangster,'' Hun Sen said in Sihanoukville on Tuesday. ''I'm not angry with you, but please use dignified words.'' Kasit was accused by the Thai opposition of calling Hun Sen a ''gangster'' during an antigovernment protest in December. Kasit, however, later replied by rephrasing his comments to call Hun Sen ''a gentleman who has the heart of a gangster.'' Also Thursday, in a letter of response, Hun Sen said he was relieved by the letter of apology from Kasit.
KyodoApril 02, 2009