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Asean: Border talks in third country

The Asean foreign ministers meeting on Tuesday
resolved that Thailand and Cambodia should hold a meeting of the
Thai-Cambodian Joint Border Commission in a third country to settle
their continuing border dispute.
The meeting, held in Jakarta, Indonesia, supported the commitments
of Thailand and Cambodia to avoid further clashes based on the verbal
agreement reached by military leaders of both sides on Saturday, Feb 19.

Asean
also welcomed the invitation by both countries to send Indonesian
officials to their respective sides of the border to observe their
commitment to avoid further clashes and report any incidents.

Asean
called on the two countries to hold bilateral talks, with appropriate
engagement by current Asean chairman Indonesia, under the Joint Border
Commission and General Border Commission frameworks.

The ministerial meeting was attended by both Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya and his Cambodian counterpart Hor Namhong.

Foreign Ministers from Asean member countries pose to journalists
during the Informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Jakarta on Feb 22,
2011. (Photo by EPA)
Reports said the two ministers tried to avoid each other at the meeting.

Acting
government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn said Mr Kasit earlier made a
phone call to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, informing him that the
European Union supports Thailand’s determination to settle the border
dispute with Cambodia through bilateral talks and confirming that
Thailand’s stance remained unchanged.

Mr Kasit said Thailand
wanted to resolve the conflict with Cambodia at the bilateral level
within the framework of the Thailand-Cambodia Joint Boundary Commission.

Thailand
was not against the idea of having other Asean members observe the
situation on the disputed border, as they would bear witness that Thai
soldiers did not start any fighting with Cambodian forces, the foreign
minister said.

The EU was concerned about the Thai-Cambodian
border clashes and agreed with the United Nations and Asean that the
two countries should address the problem themselves, he said.

Mr Kasit said he believed Cambodia would eventually accept Thailand’s bilateral solution.

Foreign
reports said Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen had instructed Foreign
Minister Hor Nam Hong to cancel the plan to sign a ceasefire deal
agreement with Thailand.

The deal was to be signed at the Asean foreign ministers meeting in Jakarta.

Reports said Cambodia decided not to sign the truce since Thailand already asked Indonesia to observe the border situation.

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Categories: Local News
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