Departure of Thai PM Delayed Because of Technical Problems

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s one-day visit to Cam­bo­dia lasted a little longer than expected when his flight home was de­layed by four hours at Phnom Penh In­ternational Airport on Friday night due to technical problems, officials said Sunday.

Council of Minister’s spokesman Phay Siphan said by telephone that Mr Abhisit was scheduled to depart from the airport on Friday at 9 pm, but technical problems forced him to change to a Royal Thai Army airplane, which left at 1 am Saturday.

An official with the airport, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the airplane Mr Abhisit was supposed to leave on had un­specified problems with its left wing.

“All of the guests had already boarded the plane and waved good-bye, but the plane had technical problems,” he said, adding that the passengers had to disembark again.

Mr Siphan said that, other than the minor delay of Mr Abhisit’s de­parture, a meeting on Friday be­tween the Thai prime minister and his Cambodian counterpart Prime Minister Hun Sen went very well.

One issue raised during their meetings was the ongoing border dispute between the two countries at the Preah Vihear temple and other areas along the border, he said, adding that Mr Hun Sen called on Mr Abhisit to use all possible peaceful means to solve the dispute.

“They signed an [memorandum of understanding] agreeing to get results through peaceful means,” Mr Siphan said.

During the meeting, Mr Sen also agreed to allow two Thai Muslims, convicted in 2004 of planning to at­tack Western embassies in Phnom Penh, to serve the rest of their sentences in Thailand, according to the Reuters news agency.

Interior Ministry spokesman Lieutenant General Khieu Sopheak could not be reached for comment on Sunday.

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