Thailand and Cambodia have agreed to normalize diplomatic relations and exchange ambassadors in the coming weeks, Thai Foreign Minister Upadit Pachariyangkun said yesterday.
Speaking on return from a four-day official visit to Phnom Penh, Upadit said the two countries also agreed to reopen bilateral trade.
"The Cambodians told us they have no reason whatsoever to create incidents along the border, so we should try our best to have peace," he added.
Thailand and Cambodia have never technically severed relations, but they have not exchanged ambassadors since the Communist assumption of power in Cambodia nearly three years ago. For the past year the Thai-Cambodian border has been the scene of frequent bloody night raids, in which a total of more than 100 Thai farmers and police have been killed.
Upadit suggestedd yesterday that those border incidents might have been the work of "third parties" not under the control of either government.
"There may be some elements not happy that Thailand and Cambodia are resuming relations," the foreign minister said.
A former top Thai official who serves as an adviser to the present government said privately that he believed the Cambodians sought to improve relations with his country because of their continuing conflict with Vietnam.
"Of course they should have come to us sooner. If they are going to make war with Vietnam, they must have peace along their other border. But then last year they had no one here in Bangkok they felt they could talk to," the Thai source said.