Home > Local News > Thai-Cambodian Gunfights Undermine ASEAN

Thai-Cambodian Gunfights Undermine ASEAN

At least five people have died in the border clashes — some of the fiercest in years.
Thai soldiers were under siege near the conflict zone (AP Photo/Heng Sinith, FILE)
VIVAnews – The deteriorating situation along the
Thai-Cambodian border is undermining confidence in ASEAN and affecting
economic recovery, tourism and investment prospect in the region, said
Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (ASEAN) in his urgent message to the two ASEAN Member States
now trading fires with casualties on both sides.

“I am deeply
concerned about the serious situation on the border between Thailand
and Cambodia. This violent conflict must be brought under control and
the two parties must return to the negotiating table soonest,” said
Surin in his written statement to VIVAnews.

The
violent conflict started with a gun fire and artillery duals mid
afternoon Friday 4 February near the long disputed site of an ancient
Hindu Temple, Preah Vihear. While the International Court of Justice
decided in favor of Cambodia in 1962, the areas adjacent to the Temple
remain under dispute.

At least five people have died in the border clashes — some of the fiercest in years, the Associated Press reported.

“I
have been in touch with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign
Affairs of Cambodia, Hor Namhong, and the Foreign Minister of Thailand,
Kasit Piramya, and I have appealed for calm, maximum restraint on both
sides, and expressed my fervent desire to see both sides in a positive
exchange as soon as possible, said the ASEAN Secretary-General.

Surin
also called both to allow ASEAN to help them bring some form of a
temporary truce and cool down the emotions and temper so that a higher
interest of both peoples and that of ASEAN can be protected and
enhanced.

“The situation has escalated into open conflict.
And that will definitely affect our economic development, confidence in
our region, tourism and prospect for foreign investment, which have
just been picking up in light of the world economic recovery,” said
Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan, who is a former Foreign Minister of
Thailand.

• VIVAnews

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