Thai protesters quit ministry, PM able to leave
New Thai PM had been forced to give his maiden speech in the ministry because demonstrators had blockaded parliament since Monday.
Thai anti-government protesters abandoned their siege of the Foreign Ministry, where the prime minister had delivered a policy speech to lawmakers on Tuesday, saying they wanted to avoid confrontation with police.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and lawmakers were able to leave the building shortly afterwards at around 2 p.m. (0700 GMT), a Reuters reporter said.
The order to leave from leaders of the hundreds of red-shirted anti-government protesters came minutes after police had tried unsuccessfully to force a path through the crowd so Abhisit could get out.
He had been forced to give his maiden speech in the ministry because demonstrators had blockaded parliament since Monday, demanding the government be dissolved and new elections be held.
The demonstrators are supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted by the military in 2006.
A government made up of Thaksin supporters had to step down after the courts disbanded three parties in the ruling coalition in early December because of electoral fraud in elections a year ago.
Reuters Last Mod: 30 Aralık 2008, 13:56