Thailand respects Saudi Arabia envoy's recall

Thailand respects and understands Saudi Arabia's decision to recall its head of mission over a controversial court verdict concerning the abduction of a Saudi businessman, Thailand's acting foreign minister Sihasak Phuangket-keow said yesterday.

He has asked Riyadh to take note of Bangkok's move to solve the case, adding that every effort had been made to bring the case to justice.

Riyadh recalled its head of mission to Thailand Abdulelah al-Sheaiby, the embassy's charge d'affaires, on July 18, four months after the Thai Criminal Court found five Thai police officers not guilty of abducting and murdering a Saudi businessman who went missing in Bangkok in 1990.

The recall was made quietly and the Thai Foreign Ministry initially said the charge d'affaires had returned home for routine work.

The ministry admitted later that it was a recall in response to the court verdict.

Sihasak yesterday requested that Saudi Arabia use diplomatic channels to convey its dissatisfaction over the issue. "It would be regrettable if the withdrawal of the diplomat led to a further downgrade of relations," he said.

The ministry would consider whether the Thai government could express its sincerity and seek a solution to the problem, as well as give justice to all concerned parties, he said.

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