Sunday, October 18, 2009
Written by DAP NEWS -- Sunday, 18 October 2009
(Posted by CAAI News Media)
Cambodia’s Foreign Minister, Hor Namhong, on Saturday said that Thailand should respect already approved border resettlement agreements between the two neighbors. He made the statement at a meeting of foreign ministers, the Joint Border Committee (JBC) and other high-ranking leaders.
“We are making effort to push to plant the border markers near Preah Vihear temple soon but the Thai Government is silent over this issue,” Hor Namhong told reporters after a Cambodian delegation led by PM Hun Sen returned from China where he attended a trade fair in Sichuan Province.
Cambodian PM Hun Sen will raise border issues at the upcoming ASEAN Summit in Thailand on October 23-25 and publicly ask Thailand side to respect border agreements, the veteran Cambodian FM added.
“I myself worked with three Thais to deal with border issues with bilateral deals, and the border committees from both sides also did similarly, but … the Thai side did not implement or follow” the agreements, Hor Namhong said.
“We have wasted time and money travelling to bilateral talks.”
He said that “everything is in the hands of the Thai National Assembly [NA] because the Thai Governemnt said that any border agreement needs to be approved by parliament. But now it was delayed.”
He claimed, however, that the Thai Government has not pushed the Thai NA over the issue. “We noted that Thai PM Abhisit raised border issues between Cambodia and Thailand near Preah Vihear with UN secretary general and the Thai Environment Minister also raised the border issue in Spain. Moreover, The ASEAN secretary general, Thai national Surin Pitsuwan, said that if any country member feels that the Thai-Cambodian border dispute affects ASEAN’s image, the foreign ministers from other 8 country members – except from Thailand and Cambodia – can raise the issue for discussion at the regional meeting.”
Hor Namhong said the ASEAN meeting is a good opportunity to help find appropriate solutions to the conflict.
But the Thais do not seem affable to such multilateral arbitration over the issue, he said. He claimed he has asked “many times to respect the results of bilateral talks on border issues; Cambodia is patient to deal border issues with Thailand.”
Heavily armed Cambodian and Thai troops have been facing each other at areas near the 11th century Khmer Preah Vihear temple since mid-2008 after the UNESCO World Heritage Committee listed Preah Vihear temple as a World Heritage Site. Three armed clashes have claimed the lives of several soldiers from both sides.