Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Friday that Cambodia and Thailand should hold discussion on the exchange of prisoners.
The premier’s initiative was made after visiting Thai Defense Minister Yuthasak Sasiprapha asked him to consider the release of two Thai activists jailed in Cambodia for espionage, the premier’ s spokesman Eang Sophalleth told reporters after the one-hour meeting at the Peace Palace.
Hun Sen said that there are 37 other Thai prisoners in Cambodia, and there are also a lot of Cambodian prisoners in Thailand.
The two Thai nationalist activists are Veera Somkwamkid, one of the leaders of the People’s Network against Corruption and a high- profile activist in the Thailand Patriot Network, and his secretary Ratree Pipatanapaiboon.
Cambodian court on February 1 convicted Veera and Ratree of illegal entry, unlawful entry into military base and espionage and sentenced them to 8 years and 6 years respectively.
In response, Yuthasak promised to convey this initiative to the government of Thailand for consideration.
Yuthasak arrived here on Friday morning for a two-day visit. Earlier in the day, he held talks with Cambodian Defense Minister Tea Banh on border conflict and both sides verbally agreed to comply with the order of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to withdraw troops from the provisional demilitarized zone (PDZ) surrounding the 11th century Preah Vihear temple and allow ASEAN observers to monitor ceasefire, but no specific date of pullout is set.
Cambodia and Thailand have had sporadic border conflict over territorial dispute near Cambodia’s Preah Vihear temple since the UNESCO listed the temple as a World Heritage Site on July 7, 2008.
However, the tension has eased since the Pheu Thai Party won a landslide victory in Thailand’s general elections