Gen Thein Sein: Myanmar won’t allow Thailand’s foe to use its soil

HUA HIN, Oct 24 (TNA) — Myanmar Prime Minister Gen Thein Sein has told his Thai counterpart Abhisit Vejjajiva that his country would not allow anyone opposing Thailand to use its soil as a springboard to attack the kingdom.

Gen Thein Sein, who is now attending the 15th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit being held in the Thai resorts of Hua Hin and Cha-am, reportedly told Mr Abhisit on the sidelines of the summit Friday that Myanmar upheld the principle of living in harmony and that it would not allow anyone opposing Thailand wishing to use his country as springboard in attacking this country.

Expressing his confidence that Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, could sail through obstacles and negative challenges, Gen Thein Sein told Mr Abhisit that both Myanmar and Thailand share a long border and both countries have to depend with each other and good neighbourliness is, therefore, significant.

Gen Thein Sein’s remarks were made after Mr Abhisit and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen traded words after the Khmer leader reasserted Friday on arriving for the ASEAN summit that his government would reject any Thai request to extradite former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra if the self-exiled ex-premier accepts an invitation for refuge in Cambodia.

Mr Hun Sen told journalists to read the extradition treaty thoroughly to understand why the former Thai premier, whom he described as his friend, can stay in Cambodia as a guest of the Cambodian government.

Ousted in a bloodless coup in September 2006, Mr Thaksin jumped bail and fled sentencing to a two-year jail term for malfeasance in the controversial Bangkok’s Ratchadapisek land purchase case.

The toppled Thai premier now spends most of his time in the United Arab Emirates after his status as a visitor was rejected by a number of countries including both the United Kingdom and Germany.

Thanking Myanmar for its support given to Thailand as chairman of ASEAN, Mr Abhisit told Gen Thein Sein that his government supports Japan’s financial assistance bestowed to Myanmar on various projects, including developing hospitals and schools.

Mr Abhisit said his government, as a close neighbour to Myanmar and host of ASEAN, had told every country to strengthen ties with Myanmar and had requested the Myanmar government leader to “unofficially report” on progress on development projects in his country during the ASEAN summit on Saturday.

Wishing Myanmar to successfully hold its general election next year, Mr Abhisit also told Gen Thein Sein that he hopes to officially visit Myanmar when he has the opportunity and to also meet Myanmar’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to boost democracy for the world community.

The leaders of ASEAN’s 10 member countries–Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam– are holding their three-day summit in the Thai resorts with their six dialogue partners–China, South Korea, Japan, India, Australia and New Zealand.

The summit ends Sunday. (TNA)

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