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Resignation of Foreign Minister seen as another blow to Thai PM

Reinhard Hohler, eTN Ambassador  Sep 03, 2008

According to the latest posting at the Bangkok Post web-site Foreign Minister Tej Bunnag tendered his resignation to embattled Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej, as the government faces mounting pressure to resign en masse amid street protests, a reliable source disclosed on Wednesday.

His resignation came a day after the premier declared emergency rule on Tuesday, after clashes between his supporters and anti-government protesters killed one man and injured 43 others. Citing his ailing wife to tend to for the reason to call it quits, Mr Tej Bunnag had tendered his resignation letter to the premier who has yet to officially approve it, the source said. However, Mr Tej Bunnag is not expected to continue work at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from Thursday, according to the source.

Mr Tej Bunnag, a former permanent secretary for foreign affairs, replaced Mr Noppadon Pattama as foreign minister who had been pressed to resign in the wake of the listing of the disputed Preah Vihear temple as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage Site. He held talks with his Cambodian counterpart over the dispute in Siem Reap/Cambodia one day after he had assumed the ministerial post on July 27. High-level diplomacy has been taking place to reduce escalating tension. An agreement was reached, following a meeting between Thai and Cambodian foreign ministers late August, to reduce troop numbers near the temple.

Resignation of Foreign Minister seen as another blow to Thai PM
Thai Foreign Minister Tej Bunnag /

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