Cambodia, Thailand in new row
Tue, Nov 17, 2009

PHNOM PENH - Cambodia and Thailand reignited their diplomatic row on Monday over fugitive former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra, giving disputing accounts over consular visits to a Thai man accused of spying.

The Cambodian foreign ministry said a Thai embassy official was allowed on Monday to visit Siwarak Chothipong, 31, who was arrested on Thursday on charges of supplying details of Thaksin's flight schedule to his country's embassy.

But Bangkok, already furious over Phnom Penh's refusal to extradite Thaksin when he visited Cambodia last week, denied that its diplomats had been granted access to the man, an employee at the Cambodia Air Traffic Service.

'Today, we agreed to allow (a Thai diplomat) to visit the man at 2pm (3pm Singapore time) in the prison where he is being temporarily detained,' Cambodian foreign ministry spokesman Koy Kuong told AFP.

The spy allegations prompted Phnom Penh to expel the Thai embassy's first secretary on Thursday and Thailand reciprocated hours later.

Thaksin, who visited under his new role as economic adviser to Cambodia, left the country on Saturday, ending a contentious four-day visit that deepened a diplomatic storm between already bickering Bangkok and Phnom Penh.





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