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Thaksin Resignation Leads to Renewed Diplomatic Ties

Thailand's ambassador to Cambodia was expected to arrive in Phnom Penh Tuesday night, marking renewed diplomatic relations between two countries that have been at odds with each other for months.

The return of Ambassador Prasart Prasartwinitchay will be followed by his counterpart's arrival in Bangkok Wednesday, in steps made possible by the resignation of exiled Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra as an adviser to Cambodia.

Thaksin's resignation, announced late Monday, removed a major sticking point for Bangkok, and Thai government spokesman Thani Thongphakdi said Tuesday the arrival of their ambassador meant “good mutual cooperation and relationship between both sides.”

Cambodian Ambassador You Ay will arrive in Bangkok in “a sign of...normalization of the diplomatic relationship,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said Tuesday.

Both sides withdrew their ambassadors in late 2009, following the appointment of Thaksin as an economic adviser to Prime Minister Hun Sen. The diplomatic crisis came amid a prolonged military standoff over a disputed border area near Preah Vihear temple.