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Ambassador of Thailand meets King

THAILAND’S ambassador to Cambodia has formally presented his credentials to King Norodom Sihamoni, three weeks after he resumed the post following a nine-month hiatus.

According to reports in the Bangkok Post, Ambassador Prasas Prasasvinitchai was initially scheduled to meet King Sihamoni on October 18, but Prime Minister Hun Sen brought the date forward to last Friday.

Koy Kuong, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, confirmed yesterday that the meeting with the King took place, but he had no information on whether Prasas was scheduled to meet with other government officials.

“Presenting the credentials to the King is necessary to confirm his role as ambassador,” Koy Kuong said. “For government officials, whether he wants to meet or not depends on him.”

Koy Kuong said that so far the ministry had received no information from the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh on whether Prasas would meet with Foreign Minister Hor Namhong.

Thailand and Cambodia withdrew their respective ambassadors last year in a spat over Phnom Penh’s appointment of fugitive former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra as an economic adviser to the government.

Diplomatic ties were finally restored last month, when Cambodia announced the resignation of Thaksin, who is wanted on graft charges in Thailand.

Despite the full restoration of diplomatic ties, the border dispute between the two countries remains unresolved.

The dispute ignited in July 2008, when Preah Vihear temple was formally inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list, triggering a rapid military buildup on both sides of the border.

Hun Sen and his Thai counterpart, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, are set to meet for talks on the sidelines of the ASEAN-US Summit in New York on September 24.

Thai embassy officials could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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