Prime Minister Hun Sen met with the new Thai ambassador to Cambodia yesterday, marking the first meeting between the two since full diplomatic relations were restored between the neighboring countries last month.
Held at the Council of Ministers, the meeting between Mr Hun Sen and Thai Ambassador Prasas Prasasvinitchai took place less than a week after the premier met with his Thai counterpart Abhisit Vejjajiva on the sidelines of a US-Asean leaders meeting in New York.
Diplomatic relations between Cambodia and Thailand were frozen last November, after former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was named an economic adviser to Cambodia. Mr Shinawatra resigned from that position last month, prompting Thailand to return an ambassador to Cambodia. In turn, Cambodia returned its ambassador to Bangkok.
Mr Hun Sen’s assistant Eang Sophalleth said yesterday’s meeting between marked another step toward improving relations between the two countries, who have been engaged in a dispute over border territory near Cambodia’s Preah Vihear temple.
“Mr Prasas said he deeply hopes his mission will ease, extend and enhance the good relations between both countries,” Mr Sophalleth said.
“In response, Prime Minister Hun Sen expressed his welcome to Mr Prasas for being appointed ambassador and carrying his mission into the country.”
Mr Sophalleth added that Mr Hun Sen had described his meeting with the Thai prime minister in New York as “increasing the trust and cooperation” between the countries.
Koy Kuong, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also offered a rosy description of yesterday’s meeting, calling it a “positive sign for both countries.”
“It shows the increasing confidence–understanding more about the relations of both countries,” Mr Kuong said yesterday.
Phay Siphan, spokesman for the Council of Ministers, described diplomatic relations between Thailand and Cambodia as being “brighter.”
“It is a fresh start with new dialogue. It is good,” he said.