Home > Local News > Thailand, Cambodia Foreign Ministers to Face Off at UN

Thailand, Cambodia Foreign Ministers to Face Off at UN

Thailand and Cambodia’s are to make their case before the United Nations
in New York over deadly border fighting that erupted a week ago.
Foreign Minister Kasit has 30 minutes tonight to convince the UNSC to
reject Phnom Penh’s bid to put the Thai-Cambodian border dispute on the
international stage, as the government hopes the Security Council will
support the bilateral solution.
Cambodia
wants U.N. peacekeepers sent to prevent further clashes. But Thailand
rejects any U.N. involvement.Thailand’s Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya
and Cambodia’s Foreign Minister Hor Namhong will address the United
Nations Security Council on Monday Cambodia requested the emergency
meeting after the worst fighting with Thailand in years broke out near a
disputed border area.

At least eight people were killed when soldiers exchanged artillery and machine-gun fire.

Thousands
of villagers fled for safety. Both sides say the other fired first. By
Monday, many had returned home but both sides are on full alert for any
further clashes.

Cambodia calls the clashes a Thai invasion akin to war and wants the U.N.

to send peacekeeping troops to the area. Phay Siphan, a spokesman for Cambodia’s Council of Ministers, says the U.N.

presence
would help build trust between the two nations. “What we wish to tell
the world that we wish to stop all aggressions,’ Phay Siphan said.

‘We
wish to stop all firing against the temple of Preah Vihear. And, we
wish to build like a trust between two nations.”Thailand rejects the
proposal for U.N.

troops. Thai government spokesman Panitan
Wattanayagorn says the issue must be resolved bilaterally.”We hope that
the international community will persuade Cambodia to return to the
negotiating table with us where we already have the memorandum of
understanding and we also have the exiting mechanism – the joint border
committee that was to have met before the incident took place at the end
of the month,” Panitan said.Cambodia pulled out of the border talks
after the fighting broke out.The clashes erupted near disputed territory
surrounding a 900-year-old Hindu Khmer temple known as Preah Vihear in
Cambodia and Phra Viharn in Thailand.

The International Court of
Justice in 1962 ruled the temple is in Cambodia, but a main entrance is
on the Thai side and both dispute areas around the temple.

The
border dispute flared up in 2008, after the U.N. Educational, Scientific
and Cultural Organization, granted World Heritage status to the temple.

Thai nationalists, many of whom say the temple belongs to
Thailand, protested, and both governments reinforced troops along the
border, who occasionally exchanged gunfire.In this latest incident,
Cambodia says the temple sustained heavy damage from Thai shelling,
though foreign media reports indicate it was minor.

A U.N. team
wants to visit the temple to assess the damage but Thailand has objected
and is lobbying to have the World Heritage status removed.

The
border tensions come as internal pressure is building on the Thai
government.Thousands of anti-government Red Shirts are holding monthly
demonstrations against what they say is unfair treatment of their
leaders.Nationalist Yellow Shirts are also rallying against the
government for not being tougher on Cambodia.

Thailand News
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Categories: Local News
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