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Thailand recalls Cambodia envoy over Thaksin

A protester holds aloft a poster of former Thai PM Thaksin in a recent demonstration in his support.
A protester holds aloft a poster of former Thai PM Thaksin in a recent demonstration in his support.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Thailand withdraws ambassador to Phnom Penh in protest over Thaksin hire
  • Former Thai prime minister appointed as Cambodian economic adviser
  • Billionaire businessman fled Thailand last year after he was charged with corruption

Bangkok, Thailand (CNN) -- Thailand has withdrawn its ambassador to Phnom Penh after Cambodia appointed fugitive former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra as an economic adviser, a Thai government official said Thursday.

Along with recalling the ambassador, the Thai government will review further relations with Cambodia, the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Thaksin, a billionaire businessman who served two terms as prime minister, was ousted in a bloodless coup in 2006. He fled Bangkok last year while facing trial on corruption charges that he said were politically motivated.

Though he has fled the country Thaksin remains a controversial figure in Thailand and there have been violent clashes in the country between pro and anti-Thaksin groups.

Cambodia's hiring of Thaksin is an interference in Thailand's internal and judicial affairs, a Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement said.

Cambodian government spokesman Phay Siphan said Thaskin's economic experience could help Cambodia.

CNN's Kocha Olarn contributed to this report.