Home > Local News > Thai, Cambodian PMs hold talks to iron out Preah Vihear dispute

Thai, Cambodian PMs hold talks to iron out Preah Vihear dispute

BANGKOK, Nov 18 – Thai Prime Minister
Abhisit Vejjajiva said he had talked with his Cambodian counterpart Hun
Sen about the Preah Vihear dispute and they mutually agreed that they
did not want to see any border clash or relations to deteriorate.
Mr Abhisit met Mr Hun Sen on the sidelines of the 4th Ayeyawady-Chao
Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) Summit in the
Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh on Wednesday.
He said the 40-minute talk focussed on a
wide range of problems on Preah Vihear and its surrounding area in
talks which were the third round of follow-up talks for the
neighbouring leaders but is considered the first time that the two
leaders themselves have straightforward talks over the issue.

“The
atmosphere is very smooth and both sides acknowledge the differing
ideas and express mutual views that they do not want to see any tense
situation, no more border clashes between the troops and do not want the
relation to deteriorate,” he said.
Both leaders tried to explore ways to
enable the people of the two countries see the positive side of the
relations and the problems should be solved in accordance with the
existing agreements, said the Thai premier.
Mr Abhisit said he has explained that
the all existing mechanisms are working including the General Border
Committee (GBC) and Joint Boundary Commission (JBC). The GBC and JBC at
the provincial and military levels have regular contact to avoid
misunderstandings and tension.
However, he said, the JBC did not run
smoothly as the Thai Parliament has yet to approve the minutes of the
border agency’s meeting which could further delay negotiations on the
border settlement near the Preah Vihear Temple.
The Cambodian premier knew that the
minutes of the meeting have to be approved by Parliament as required by
the Constitution, he said.
Mr Abhisit said he told the Cambodian
leader that the tension stemmed from the United Nations Education
Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)’s World Heritage issue
and the contested area where a market, communities and temple were set
up.
Thailand would like to see the area back
to its previous status in 2000 with Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
to be fully observed by both sides while Cambodia wanted the 2008
generality, he said.
According to the MoU between Thailand
and Cambodia on the survey and land boundary demarcation signed in June
2000, both parties agreed not to carry out any changes in the
environment of the frontier zone, pending completion of the survey and
border demarcation.
Thailand and Cambodia have been at
loggerheads over Preah Vihear since the World Heritage Committee added
it to the World Heritage List of 2008. The listing has nothing to do
with the boundaries, but Thailand feared Cambodia would use the
disputed areas adjacent to the temple as a buffer zone particularly the
4.6 square metres area which contested by both countries.
Since the conflict started, military
standoff has been on and off along the two countries’ border and
several military clashes with recorded small casualties from both
sides.
Mr Hun Sen earlier said that as long as
Thailand redeploys its troops just like the time before July 15, 2008,
the border issue will be solved peacefully and smoothly.
The International Court of Justice on
June 15, 1962 ruled in favor to Cambodia, saying Preah Vihear Temple is
belonged to Cambodia.
Mr Abhisit said from now on the cultural
exchange activities between the two countries would be promoted to
boost ties between the people of the two countries.
AJoint Thai-Cambodian concert will take
place on Nov 28 at the Indoor Stadium at Hua Mark to promote economic,
cultural and social co-operation between the two neighboring countries.
Source: MCOT online news
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Categories: Local News
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