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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Foreign Minister: PM won't meet Thaksin in Cambodia

( - Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama denied rumours that Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej is going to meet with ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra during his visit to Cambodia.

Mr Samak is scheduled to go to Cambodia on March 3 as the first visit to Asean countries after he becomes prime minister.

Mr Samak's trip came amid news reports that Mr Thaksin will play golf with Cambodia's prime minister Hun Sen.

"I do not want to give any opinions regarding the ousted premier, and I do not want people to perceive that he has any power in the current government," Mr Noppadon told reporters. "The prime minister's visit is on behalf of the government."

He added that the Preah Vihear temple is expected to be discussed during Mr Samak's visit to the neighbouring country.

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ADB opens rail project in Cambodia

Agence France-Presse . Phnom

Penh The Asian Development Bank Monday launched a multi-million dollars project to restore Cambodia's devastated railways in a key step towards the creation of a regional rail system.

Approximately 600 kilometres of track destroyed during Cambodia's protracted civil war will be rebuilt at a cost of 42 million dollars, the ADB said.

'This is one of the last steps in the creation of a regional railway that will stretch from Singapore to Beijing,' ADB president Haruhiko Kuroda said in a statement. 'Soon, trains will be running from Singapore to Sihanoukville,' Cambodia's only deep-water port on the country's southern coast, added Kuroda, who was speaking at an inaugural ceremony near Cambodia's border with Thailand.

Rail service in Cambodia remains unreliable, with trains running only intermittently. But for impoverished Cambodians, rail travel is one of the few affordable transportation options, and an unofficial train service flourishes along some portions of the country's battered track system.

These small trollies, built out of bamboo platforms and powered by motor-scooter engines, are known locally as 'bamboo horses' and ferry people and goods across large swathes of the countryside.

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Spanish queen arrives in Cambodia

Phnom Penh - Queen Sophia of Spain arrived in Cambodia Tuesday for a five-day visit at the invitation of Cambodian monarch, King Norodom Sihamoni. The wife of King Juan Carlos will visit a number of Spanish-funding humanitarian projects during her stay, including an anti-human trafficking organization, and a demining project, according to a schedule obtained from a palace source.

She is also scheduled to attend a gala dinner with King Sihamoni on Wednesday as well as visiting the ancient Angkor Wat temple complex in the northern province of Siem Reap before flying out Saturday.

Queen Sophia had scheduled a visit to Cambodia last year but returned home minutes after landing at the airport due to a family bereavement.
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