Home > Local News > UN urges ‘permanent’ Thai-Cambodia ceasefire

UN urges ‘permanent’ Thai-Cambodia ceasefire

UNITED NATIONS (AFP)
– The UN Security Council called Monday for a “permanent ceasefire”
between Thailand and Cambodia after a border dispute erupted into
deadly clashes last week around a Hindu temple.
AFP/File – Cambodian soldiers stand in formation during a visit by members of the National Assembly to the military
Council president Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti of Brazil made the call
after a closed door session with the foreign ministers of Cambodia,
Thailand and Indonesia, which has attempted to mediate the conflict.
“Members of the Security Council urge the parties to establish a permanent ceasefire and to implement it fully,” she said.
She said council members expressed “great concern” over the clashes and
“called on the two sides to display maximum restraint and avoid any
action that may aggravate the situation.”
Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong had gone into the meeting
seeking a “permanent ceasefire” while Thailand, represented by Foreign
Minister Kasit Piromya, had insisted that the two neighbors settle the dispute among themselves.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegwa, who has tried to mediate
the dispute, also took part in the Security Council session.
Viotti said the council supported the Indonesian mediation efforts.
“The idea is to work in synergy with the regional efforts — and right
now regional efforts are in full force — and resolve the situation
peacefully and through effective dialogue,” she said.
The two Southeast Asian neighbors blame each other for the crisis,
which has left at least 10 dead, including seven Cambodians, in clashes
with heavy weapons last week.
They are fighting over a border area that surrounds the Preah Vihear
temple, an 11th century cliff-top ruin that belongs to Cambodia but
whose designation as a World Heritage site has touched off the ire of
Thai nationalists.
While Cambodia won support for a permanent ceasefire, the council did
not endorse its request for the deployment of UN peacekeepers into the
contested area.
The Cambodian foreign minister accused Thailand of using internationally outlawed bombs and submunitions in the conflict.
“We deny all of that and we did not shoot first. It was a response,” Kasit responded.

The Thai minister said there was no need for UN peacekeepers, and said
that option had not been discussed in the Security Council session.

On Sunday, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said his foreign minister would insist that the crisis be settled on a bilateral basis without outside intervention.
Kasit said he had not met one-on-one with his Cambodian counterpart in
New York, but there would be an opportunity to do so during a meeting
of ASEAN foreign ministers in Jakarta February 22.
Indonesia’s foreign minister said “obviously, this is a matter that
will have to be resolved in final analysis bilaterally between the two
sides but it does not mean there is not a space and a role for regional
countries to play.”
Thailand has laid the blame for the crisis on UNESCO’s decision to
declare the temple ruins a World Heritage site even though the land
around it is disputed.
The World Court ruled in 1962 that the temple belonged to
Cambodia but both countries claim ownership of a 4.6-square-kilometre
(1.8-square-mile) surrounding area.
“The war was not caused by the listing of the temple, but by
Thailand’s invasion of Cambodian territory,” said Koy Kuong, the
Cambodian spokesman. “They want not only the territory, but also the
temple.”
Source: AFP
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Categories: Local News
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