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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bangkok disowns KR

Bangkok disowns KR

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) - Charges that Thailand supports the communist Khmer Rouge

are outdated notions kept alive by Western media, Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai said

May 10.

"I have been in office for seven months and I have been unable to persuade the

Khmer Rouge to do anything because we have no special influence," he said.

Not even China, once the guerrilla group's biggest international supporter, has been

able to influence the group, he said.

Chuan, 54, Thailand's first elected prime minister since a February 1991 coup ousted

veteran politician Chatichai Choonhavan, was speaking to about 350 members of the

Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand. After a brief speech in English, Chuan engaged

in a sometimes tense question-and-answer session with the help of an interpreter.

The prime minister brushed aside suggestions that his country had given refuge and

assistance to Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot.

"My government has not afforded Pol Pot any hospitality and personally, I have

never met the man," he said.

Thailand offered support and sanctuary to the Khmer Rouge and other Cambodian resistance

forces when the Vietnamese stationed troops in Cambodia from 1978 to 1989. They installed

the current regime in Phnom Penh after ousting the Khmer Rouge from power.



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