Home > Local News > Explanations all round – Kasit off to the UN on Monday

Explanations all round – Kasit off to the UN on Monday

Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya will fly to New York on Monday for a
meeting with Cambodian foreign minister Hor Namhong and Indonesian
foreign minister and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean)
chairman Marty Natalegawa.
Mr Kasit’s secretary Chavanont Intarakomalyasut said the three
foreign ministers would then explain the Thai-Cambodian border conflict
to the chairman of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

It was expected the meeting would lead to a solution to the problem through bilateral mechanisms, Mr Chavanont said.

The Asean chairman called on Mr Kasit in Bangkok on Tuesday after meeting Hor Namhong in Cambodia on Monday.

Mr Natalegawa said Asean would support the two countries in holding talks to solve their problems through bilateral talks.

Mr Chavanont said former ambassador to the United Nations (UN)
Assada Chaiyanam  will go to France to meet Unesco representatives on
Friday. He would explain to the United Nations Educational, Scientific
and Cultural Organisation  why Thailand objects to it Inspecting Preah
Vihear temple.

The 11th century Khmer-Hindu temple was damaged
during the border clashes between Thai and Cambodian troops that began
last Friday.

Foreign Minister Kasit said today he border clashes had demonstrated the strengths of the Thai army.

“In the fighting the Thai army fired at Cambodia’s military zones, while Cambodian soldiers fired at our villages.

“Moreover,
there were Cambodian soldiers at Preah Vihear temple, when the two
countries had already agreed that they will not deploy their troops to
the temple,” Mr Kasit said.

Cambodia must explain these two issues to the global community, he said.

He
said the government would be ready to clarify the situation if the
Cambodian foreign minister still wants the UN to intervene in the
border row.

Another tank arrives on an army transporter near the border in Si Sa
Ket province on Wednesday, as Foreign Minister Kasit prepares to meet
his Cambodian counterpart Hor Namhong and the Asean chairman in New
York on Monday. Then they will all explain the border conflict to the
UN Security Council. (Photo by Jetjaras Na Ranong)
At least 10 more tanks were deployed from bases in Bangkok and Saraburi
to the border area in Si Sa Ket’s Kantharalak district this morning.

Army spokesman Chinnakaj Rattanajitti said the tanks would take part in a pre-planned annual military exercise.

Defence
Minister Prawit Wongsuwon accompanied by army chief Gen Prayuth
Chan-ocha and other top brass visited residents affected by the border
clashes in Kantharalak today.

They also attended the bathing
rites of Sgt Thanakorn Poolperm and Capt Rucharin Chartkamdee, who were
killed in the border clashes.

Gen Prawit said he will do everything he can to bring peace back to the border area.

He
admitted he was concerned about the People’s Alliance for Democracy’s
plan to lead the yellow-shirts to visit local villagers and Thai
soldiers in the border area near Cambodia, saying it could worsen the
situation.

Deputy Prime Minister for security affairs Suthep
Thaugsuban said it was not necessary to reduce the level of ties
between Thailand and Cambodia at this time.

Any such a move
would hurt people living along the border, particularly those involved
in border trade. The border conflict was not caused by the residents in
the border area.

He said Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva will
not make a direct call to Cambodian premier Hun Sen at this time. He
will allow the appropriate state offices to do their job.

“It would be a loss of dignity for the country if the prime minister contacts Hun Sen first,” Mr Suthep said.

“Also, Cambodia might use it to claim that Thailand has surrendered,” said Mr Suthep.

Asked
about Cambodia’s claim that the Preah Vihear has been damaged by the
border fighting and Unesco would send its team to inspect the ancient
temple, Mr Suthep said it would be good if the international agency
helps establish the facts.

The deputy premier confirmed he had
received a report that Cambodian troops had used the ancient temple as
a base to attack Thailand.

He was not concerned about the
yellow-shirt PAD’s plan to go to Kantharalak, because the border
district is now under the martial law.

Deputy Finance Minister
Pradit Phataraprasit said the Finance Ministry has ordered the Customs
Department to try to keep its checkpoints along the Thai-Cambodian
border open to trade.

“I have ordered customs officials to do
their best not to close the border checkpoints, despite the recent
clashes between Thai and Cambodian troops, because it could hurt border
trade,” said Mr Pradit.

Customs Department director-general
Prasong Poontaneat said his department was ready to close the border if
ordered by security units.

Bangkok Post
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Categories: Local News
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