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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Abhisit on hotline to Hun Sen

Abhisit on hotline to Hun Sen

Prime Minister Hun Sen has said that Thai premier Abhisit Vejjajiva contacted him to clarify allegations reportedly made by Thai security forces that antigovernment activists planning to assassinate Abhisit had received training in Cambodia.

An investigator from Thailand’s department of special investigation reportedly alleged on Monday that a group of 11 antigovernment Red Shirt activists arrested in Thailand this month had received instruction from Cambodian soldiers during a three-week weapons training session.

The activists, DSI investigator Payao Thongsen reportedly said, were part of a group of 39 preparing to assassinate Abhisit and other Thai public figures.

Speaking at a graduation ceremony in Phnom Penh, Hun Sen echoed earlier government comments in dismissing the allegations as groundless.

“Last night, I communicated with Abhisit directly via a special mechanism and he sent a text message to me stating that the official’s comments did not reflect their government’s stance,” Hun Sen said.

The premier said he responded to the message by asking whether comments reportedly made on Tuesday by the secretary general of Thailand’s national security council – affirming that the activists had trained in Cambodia – represented Bangkok’s position.

Hun Sen did not say how Abhisit had responded to this question.

Thai ministry of foreign affairs deputy spokesman Thani Thongphakdi said that the department of special investigation had not yet released its findings to his office.
Thai government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn said on Tuesday that Bangkok “does not accuse our neighbours of wrongdoing”, and would wait for the full results of the DSI report before acting on its findings.
In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs called the DSI allegations “unsubstantiated and malignant”. The Press and Quick Reaction Unit at the Council of Ministers accused the DSI of playing “dirty games”.
“Thailand DSI is engaging in a new string of malicious political manoeuvring to intoxicate the international opinion, to link Cambodia to Thai internal political squabbling,” the Press and Quick Reaction Unit said.
Hun Sen said he would meet Abhisit on the sidelines of a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Hanoi later this month to discuss the Thai parliament’s vote on the countries’ latest round of border negotiations and to ask him to withdraw the troops at Preah Vihear temple.
“If the troops are redeployed from that area, it is finished,” Hun Sen said. “We can reopen the border gate [near Preah Vihear temple] and there will be no problem.”
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY JAMES O’TOOLE

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