Home > Local News > Thai, Cambodian defence ministers to meet on ceasefire

Thai, Cambodian defence ministers to meet on ceasefire

BANGKOK, Feb 16
Thai Defence Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan and his Cambodian
counterpart Tea Banh will hold talks on establishing a permanent
ceasefire along their countries’ disputed border as urged by the United
Nations Security Council, said a senior Thai foreign ministry official
on Wednesday.

Chavanond Intarakomalayasut (pictured), a
secretary to the Thai foreign minister, made the statement following
the latest skirmishes at the Thai-Cambodian border in Si Sa Ket’s
Kantaralak district on Monday just few hours after the United Nations
issued a statement calling for a permanent ceasefire from both sides
and supporting bilateral talks to solve the border conflict.

Mr
Chavanond stated the latest clashes may have a negative impact on the
bilateral talks if Cambodia failed to stop firing into Thai territory.

“Defence
Minister Gen Prawit will discuss the matter with Foreign Minister Kasit
Piromya prior to bilateral talks with Cambodian Defence Minister Tea
Banh to ensure that the two ministries will carry out their mission in
the same direction,” said the secretary.

Mr Kasit was in New
York to present evidence to the Security Council after the Cambodian
government submitted a letter of complaint accusing Thailand of firing
arms into Cambodian troops first, damaging the ancient Preah Vihear
temple and calling on the world body to intervene in the dispute.

When
asked why Mr Kasit did not hold talks with his Cambodian counterpart
Hor Namhong while they were in New York together, Mr Chavanond said the
Cambodian foreign minister had to hurry back to his country and that he
believes both ministers will have an opportunity to meet each other
again on Feb 22 in Indonesia where a meeting of foreign ministers of
the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will be held.

Regarding
the next meeting of Thai-Cambodian Joint Boundary Commission (JBC)
scheduled for Feb 27, the secretary said Thailand is still waiting for
an official confirmation from Cambodia.

Mr Chavanond added if
Cambodia rejects the bilateral mechanism, no other mechanism can solve
the border conflict, furthermore the world community may also not
understand why Cambodia has to refuse the talks with its neighbour.
(MCOT online news)

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