Cambodia, Thailand in tit-for-tat
Thu, Nov 12, 2009

BANGKOK, Nov 12, 2009 (AFP) - Cambodia expelled a Thai diplomat and Thailand reciprocated Thursday in a row over Phnom Penh's naming of fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra as an adviser, a Thai government spokesman said.

"We decided to expel the Cambodian first secretary after Cambodia expelled our first secretary from the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh," Panitan Wattanayagorn, a spokesman for Thailand's government, told AFP.

He said that Thailand had given the Cambodian diplomat 48 hours to leave the country.

"At around 5pm (1000 GMT) we decided to expel a Cambodian diplomatic official in retaliation for Cambodia's expulsion of one of our diplomatic officials earlier this afternoon," foreign ministry spokeswoman Vimon Kidchob said.

"It was necessary to take similar action," Vimon said.

Thailand and Cambodia have already recalled their ambassadors from each other's countries in the growing quarrel over Phnom Penh's appointment of Thaksin, which was announced last week.

Thaksin, who was ousted in a coup in 2006 and is living in exile to avoid a jail term for graft at home, arrived in the Cambodian capital on Tuesday and gave a lecture to Cambodian economics experts on Thursday.




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