Thai government investigating “secret oil talks” with Cambodia

Sept. 2, 2011 at 4:33 PM

BANGKOK, Sept. 2 (UPI) -- Thailand's new Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, has directed the Foreign Ministry to investigate alleged "secret" oil discussions with Cambodia.

Shinawatra's concerns center on an offshore maritime area in which both Thailand and Cambodia claim sovereignty.

According to Thai government spokesman Thitima Chaisaeng, Shinawatra wants the Foreign Ministry to investigate intergovernmental discussions relating to the last government's deputy Prime Minister, Suthep Thaugsuban over the 10,400-square-mile offshore region, believed by both countries potentially to contain significant oil and natural gas resources.

Foreign Minister Surapong Towichukchaikul said, "I will contact Cambodia to get more information on what Suthep said on the matter, and I will relay that information to the public," The Bangkok Post reported on Friday.

Suthep allegedly held confidential meetings with Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sok An in Hong Kong and Kunming, China, in 2009 and 2010. Suthep, now a Democrat Party MP from Surat Thani, denied he ever met Cambodian authorities secretly to talk about offshore oil and natural gas interests.

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