(The RGC temporarily stopped asking for help from the UN Security Council) Cambodia, Thailand to resume bilateral talks over land dispute

July 25, 2008 at 1:04 am Leave a comment

PHNOM PENH, July 24 (Xinhua) — Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej and his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen agreed Thursday not to refer both countries’ ongoing land dispute to the UN Security Council, but resume to bilateral means to solve it, said a senior official.

    Samak called Hun Sen around noon (0500 GMT), but the latter was too busy to receive. At about 16:30 (0930 GMT), he called again and the top-level conversation started and yielded the result, Cambodian government spokesman and Information Minister Khieu Kanharith told Xinhua.

    According to the premiers’ oral agreement, both sides will initiate foreign minister negotiations on Monday in Siem Reap province of Cambodia to seek solution for their nine-day military stalemate in the border area near the Preah Vihear Temple, he said.

    “We have shown good will and we await the outcome in Siem Reap,” he added.

    Also Thursday, Hun Sen issued a statement, saying that his government will temporarily stopped asking for help from the UN Security Council over the Cambodian-Thai spat and turn to bilateral way to find solution.

    Earlier Thursday, George Yeo, Singapore’s foreign minister and host of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN), said the border between Thailand and Cambodia should never have become a problem, and it was unnecessary to take it to the UN Security Council.

    On July 21, bilateral defense minister-level talks in Thailand once failed to reach any agreement to end the military face-off.

    The Cambodian government then wrote to ASEAN, UNESCO and UN Security Council for higher level intervention.

    The UN Security Council had reportedly planned to hold urgent meeting Thursday or next week to help Cambodia deal with the situation.

    On July 15, three Thai protesters trespassed the border to reclaim the Preah Vihear Temple, but were immediately arrested.

    Thai troops then came in to fetch them, thus triggering standoff with Cambodian soldiers there. Bilateral military force was then built up on daily basis until the current scale around one thousand at least.

    In 1962, the International Court of Justice awarded the 11- century classic Khmer-style Preah Vihear Temple, together with the land it occupies, to Cambodia. The decision has rankled the Thais ever since.

    Besides, both sides also have different versions of historical maps to define their border, which has aggravated the dispute.

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Entry filed under: Preah Vihear Issue. Tags: .

Interview with H.E. Var Kimhong More on Preah Vihear by France 24

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