Home > Local News > ASEAN brokers Preah Vihear deal

ASEAN brokers Preah Vihear deal

Cambodia and Thailand have agreed to accept Indonesian military and
civilian observers to monitor disputed border areas that were the scene
of bloody clashes earlier this month, following a meeting of ASEAN
foreign ministers in Jakarta today.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa (centre), flanked by
Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong (left) and Thailand’s Foreign
Minister Kasit Piromya (right), speaks at a news conference after an
informal meeting in Jakarta today. Photo by: Reuters
Speaking after the meeting,
Indonesian Foreign Minister and current ASEAN chairman Marty Natalegawa
described the solution as a “unique arrangement”.
Though full
details were not immediately available, Natalegawa, speaking for ASEAN,
said each team would consist of 20 military and civilian members
charged with observing a ceasefire agreed by both sides.
“It’s
quite a unique regiment in the sense that Indonesian observers will be
on both sides of the boundaries, on the Thai side as well as on the
Cambodian side,” Natalegawa told reporters.
He added that the observers would report to both ASEAN and the United Nations Security Council.
According
to a statement released by the ASEAN Secretariat following the meeting,
Natalegawa said Indonesia agreed “to assist and support the parties in
respecting their commitment to avoid further armed clashes between
them, by observing and reporting accurately, as well as impartially on
complaints of violations and submitting its findings to each party
through Indonesia”.
The dispatch of the Indonesian observers will
be based on the experience of similar missions from ASEAN personnel to
East Timor in 1999 and Aceh in 2003-05, as well as an Indonesian
mission to the southern Philippines, the statement said, adding that
Natalegawa will “promptly propose a model for the two countries’
consideration”.
The agreement follows a series of bloody clashes
along the border close to Preah Vihear temple earlier this month, which
left at least 10 dead and dozens injured on both sides.
Prior to
today’s meeting, Prime Minister Hun Sen backed down from his previous
insistence that Thailand sign a permanent border ceasefire under ASEAN
auspices, following Bangkok’s initial proposal that Indonesian
observers be dispatched to monitor the border situation.
Speaking
at a graduation ceremony at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, the
Premier said Foreign Minister Hor Namhong met Natalegawa in Jakarta on
Monday and proposed that Indonesia send observers to the border as soon
as possible.
The request followed a similar suggestion from Thai
Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya, who proposed on Sunday that Indonesian
officials “embed” themselves with Thai troops to monitor a ceasefire
brokered by military officials on the weekend.
“We have proposed
for [Natalegawa] to send observers as soon as possible, so the
positions of the two [governments] are the same,” Hun Sen said.
Hun
Sen has also lashed out at Thailand’s Yellow Shirt movement, which has
slammed Bangkok’s decision to broker a deal with Cambodia, saying the
agreement signed on Saturday was not a comprehensive agreement to cease
hostilities.
“The Thai military commanders are not ignorant. I
encouraged military and military commanders to meet and play sports or
share candies rather than sharing bullets with each other,” said Hun
Sen.
Hor Namhong and the Cambodian delegation are set to hold a press conference on their return to Phnom Penh today.  ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY REUTERS
Phnom Penh Post
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Categories: Local News
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