Home > Local News > Military chiefs may hold ceasefire talks

Military chiefs may hold ceasefire talks

Thai and Cambodian military leaders may launch ceasefire talks amid the current diplomatic stalemate.
Negotiations may start this weekend or after Tuesday’s meeting of
Asean foreign ministers in Indonesia, said 2nd Army commander
Thawatchai Samutsakhon yesterday.
He is coordinating with Lt Gen Chea Mon, chief of the Cambodian 4th Region Army, about the prospect of talks.
The United Nations Security Council has recommended a permanent
ceasefire after hearing both sides of the story on Monday following a
series of border clashes. It has also called for Asean’s engagement in
the dispute.
On Thursday, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said his government
would urge Thailand to agree to a peace deal during the foreign
ministers’ meeting. He said the agreement should be signed by the Thai
and Cambodian foreign ministers and witnessed by Asean.
But Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has rejected Cambodia’s proposal, saying it was too early to talk about such a move.
Mr Abhisit said the two countries must hold talks and that Asean
could act only as a facilitator. Asean was not in a position to become
involved in such matters of conflict.
According to Lt Gen Thawatchai, the planned talks with Lt Gen Chea
Mon appear less formal. “We [Thai and Cambodian military] usually talk.
This is not the talks. The talks must come from policy,” he said.
After fighting between Thai and Cambodian troops erupted in
Kantharalak district of Si Sa Ket province earlier this month, military
leaders from both sides reportedly rushed to hold talks in an effort to
end hostilities. Sporadic exchanges of fire have continued, especially
on Phu Makhua mountain.
Lt Gen Thawatchai said the army was prepared for any situation and
troops were helping provincial authorities to build bunkers in border
villages vulnerable to skirmishes.
An army source said Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon had talked
with his Cambodian counterpart Teah Banh about calling a ceasefire.
According to the source, the Cambodian defence minister agrees with
the ceasefire but admits that troops at the border may not be aware of
the efforts.
Cambodian troops, he said, appear bent on seizing as much as
possible of the disputed 4.6 square kilometre area adjoining the Preah
Vihear temple.
Bangkok Post
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Categories: Local News
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