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Hopes for peace bolstered by new Thai PM

Hopes for peace bolstered by new Thai PM

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Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra speaks to the media after she received the royal command appointing her as the country’s new prime minister at the Puea Thai party headquarters in Bangkok on Monday.

Prime Minister Hun Sen has congratulated Thailand’s first female Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on her election and said he looks forward to “upholding harmony” between Cambodia and its neighbour.

Koy Kuong, spokesman at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said yesterday a letter had been sent to Yingluck one day after her endorsement by Thailand’s King. The letter states that Hun Sen is optimistic that the two premier’s shared determination will help restore the bonds of friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

“I look forward to working very closely with Your Excellency to serve the interest of our two nations and peoples and to resolve all problems peacefully, thus upholding harmony between our two nations and contributing to peace, stability and prosperity in the region,” Hun Sen wrote.

Yingluck received the royal command appointing her as premier on Monday following her Puea Thai Party party’s victory in the country’s national election on July 3.

The Cambodian government has appeared to warm to the new administration, bolstering hopes that a resolution of the ongoing border conflict can be negotiated following deadly clashes earlier this year.

Koy Kuong said that although there was no progress to report over an agreement to deploy unarmed Indonesian observers to a new demilitarized zone around Preah Vihaer, created by the International Court of Justice on July 18, he remained hopeful about the future.

“We hope that the new [Thai] government will contribute to a positive peaceful resolution on border negotiations,” he said.

Dr Pithaya Pookaman, leading candidate for the post of Thai Foreign Affairs Minister, said yesterday that Yingluck would visit Cambodia “as soon as she is ready to visit foreign countries”. The renewed sense of diplomacy came after Royal Cambodian Armed Forces again pulled back reinforcements from the border areas near Preah Vihear temple to Kampong Thom province on Monday.  It is the second time such a pull back has been made since the demilitarised zone was created.

Chan Ponleouk, personal spokesman of Chea Cara, deputy commander of the RCAF based at Preah Vihear, wrote in a statement that troops were based in Choam Ksan district, outside the DMZ.

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