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Cambodian PM meets with Thai FM on Thai situation, migrant workers


Cambodian PM meets with Thai FM on Thai situation, migrant workers

PHNOM PENH, July 1 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen met Tuesday with visiting Thai Foreign Ministry permanent secretary Sihasak Phuangketkeow to discuss current situation in Thailand and cooperation over migrant workers.

Sihasak briefed Hun Sen on the situation in Thailand after the May 22 military coup and asked Cambodia to maintain good relations with Thailand either bilaterally or multilaterally in ASEAN.

He said the coup was the last resort to maintain Thai political stability and the situation in Thailand has currently returned to normal.

Sihasak, who serves as foreign minister in the absence of a government, said he regretted to see the mass exodus of Cambodian migrant workers last month after rumors that the Thai junta would arrest and deport illegal foreign workers.

"Now, Thai and Cambodian sides have cooperated well to return Cambodian workers to Thailand legally," he said.

More than 250,000 Cambodian migrant workers, mostly undocumented, had fled Thailand last month in fears of a military junta's clampdown on illegal foreign workers.

For his part, Hun Sen said he understood the situation in Thailand and that "Cambodia will not interfere in Thai internal affairs."

He said Cambodia would continue to foster good relations with Thailand for mutual benefits.

Meanwhile, the prime minister said Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni on Tuesday granted a royal pardon to a Thai "yellow-shirt " activist Veera Somkwamkid, who has been jailed in Cambodia since December 2010 for espionage.

He said the release of Somkwamkid came at the request of Thai army chief Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, head of the National Council for Peace and Order.

Sihasak arrived in Cambodia for a two-day visit. Earlier in the day, he held talks with Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong to discuss ways to further enhance bilateral ties and cooperation.