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Monday, November 30, 2009

Hun Sen rules out normal ties with Abhisit government

By Rasmei Kampuchea

Phnom Penh - Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen attacked Thailand again yesterday, saying the Thai government was derisive about his country and that Abhisit Vejjajiva was the most difficult Thai PM he had ever worked with.

Hun Sen told reporters in Phnom Penh that bilateral relations, which have been sour for months now, would only be normalised if Thailand had a new government. He added that his country would "have no happiness" while Abhisit and Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya were still in power.
"I'm not an enemy of the Thai people ... But, these two people look down on Cambodia," Hun Sen said.

"Cambodia will have no happiness as long as this group is in power."

Hun Sen claimed that Abhisit called him over the weekend after Phnom Penh sent a note last week telling Bangkok that it was cancelling its request for a Bt1.4-billion loan to construct a road from the Thai border to Siem Reap.

"Abhisit called me, for the first time, asking me to withdraw the note. He said Thailand is still willing to give the loan," Hun Sen said.

However, Abhisit was told that Cambodia needed an official letter from him, but though the Thai premier agreed he failed to send the letter at the time it was promised.

"Abhisit is the most difficult person to work with when compared to other Thai PMs," Hun Sen said, adding that from now on Cambodia would not accept any aid from Thailand.

"We have decided to stop receiving any assistance from Thailand. Cambodia cannot allow itself to be humiliated," he added. "I told Abhisit that my people and I were hurt when we heard you talk about halting aid and loans. Now stop talking like this - it is cheap and childish."

The Cambodian leader also hit back about Thailand's threat to close the border between the two countries, saying: "If you are [an] idiot, if you want losses, please go ahead."

Bilateral relations between the two countries soured when Hun Sen appointed fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra as his economic adviser and refused to extradite him to Thailand.

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