Thai minister plays down problems with Syed Hamid

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 30 Jan 2005

PHUKET: Thai Foreign Minister Dr Surakriat Sathirathai played down problems with his Malaysian counterpart, saying that they were good friends who “sometimes have to say what we need to say”.  

“There are no problems at all. Both countries have a good relationship; we go back a long way,” he said. 

On Thursday, Dr Surakriat had said Thailand was dissapointed with Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar’s earlier statement that diplomatic channels should have been followed in Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's request for the extradition of alleged separatist Abdul Rahman Ahmad @ Deraman Koteh.  

“It is deemed inappropriate for a person holding ministerial rank of a neighbouring country to make negative statements directed at a leader of another country in such a manner which is not constructive to their existing close relations,” Dr Surakriat had said. 

Syed Hamid was scheduled to attend the Ministerial Meeting on Regional Co-operation on Tsunami Earlier Warning Arrangements here. However, he attended an OIC event instead. 

Asked whether he felt that Syed Hamid had snubbed the meeting organised by Thailand, Dr Surakriat said “No”. 

“Malaysia is being represented here by a very capable full-minister,” he said, referring to Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis. 

Meanwhile, in Sepang, Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Noh Omar said investigations were ongoing to determine whether Deraman had dual citizenship.  

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