No foreign mediator needed in Cambodia talks: Thailand

July 22, 2008 at 8:14 am 1 comment

Economic Times, India 22 Jul, 2008, 1153 hrs IST, AGENCIES


BANGKOK: Thailand does not want foreign mediators involved in its border dispute with Cambodia, a Thai military official said Tuesday, but conceded that the two sides were at a stalemate.

General Boonsrang Niumpradit, Thailand’s chief negotiator in the dispute, on Monday ended negotiations with Cambodian Defence Minister Tea Banh without any resolution to their military standoff.

Neither country was willing to relinquish their claim to a disputed patch of land near the 11th century Preah Vihear temple.

“The problem was that we and Cambodia are using two different maps. Cambodian is using the French version while we used a US-drawn map, thus it’s hard for us to reach agreement,” he said on Thai television.

More than 500 Thai and 1,000 Cambodian troops are stationed around a small Buddhist pagoda in about five square kilometres (two square miles) of disputed land on a mountain slope leading to Preah Vihear, which the World Court said in 1962 belongs to Cambodia.

Cambodia on Tuesday suggested again taking their dispute to the World Court in The Hague and proposed a UN Security Council meeting on the crisis, but Boonsrang said the Thai side was not keen on international involvement.

“The dispute should be discussed between the two countries,” he said. “Better that than elevating it to ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) or the UN.”

Boonsrang said, however, that tensions between the two countries may ease after elections in Cambodia on July 27. “It will be easier to talk after the elections,” he said.

Recent tensions between the neighbours began with Cambodia’s moves to have Preah Vihear listed as a UN World Heritage Site, and boiled over last Tuesday when three Thais tried to illegally enter the temple.

The United Nations earlier this month granted the temple World Heritage status, which Cambodian Premier Hun Sen has portrayed as a national triumph, organising huge public celebrations ahead of Sunday’s polls.


Entry filed under: Preah Vihear Issue. Tags: , , .

Cambodia wants Security Council meeting Asean to discuss Cambodia request for mediation in border row

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Kevin  |  July 22, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    Interesting enough Thai government and it impetend government fail to convince the Cambodian side to resolve the dispute and now they are preventing the global communities from helping. Mistake again,,, doing this will acknowledge that the thai does have something to hide and don’t want the international community to know. Just like in the case the refugee burmese is being force back to the opressing burma government land… Thai show some humanity in your soul to your neighbors. If this was a flash back then it might be good for me to mention about the refugeee incident at preah vihear with Cambodian. Thai literately force thousands of those refugee down the slope of the temple mountain,
    read more here :


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