Thailand ready for ceasefire in border dispute

Updated: 2011-02-15 13:47


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BANGKOK - Thailand never has ill intention against Cambodia and the country supports "permanent ceasefire" and peaceful means to tackle border issue with its neighbor, Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said early Tuesday morning.

Kasit made the phone call to give an interview with National Broadcasting of Thailand (NBT) at 6.30 am (11.30 pm GMT) after he finished closed meeting with the UN Security Council (UNSC) in New York where he addressed Thailand's stand on bilateral negotiation in dealing with the border dispute between Thailand and Cambodia.  

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Kasit said that Thailand would like to see development in Cambodia and the country has consistently invested in and traded with its neighboring country.

"Both Thailand and Cambodia are member countries of the Association of South East Asian Nation (ASEAN) who are bound to create ASEAN Community in 2015, so there is no reason to make problems between us," he said.  

Thai FM also insisted that contentious encryption of the ancient Preah Vihear temple as the UNESCO's World Heritage Site as well as development plan of the surrounding area must be halted until negotiation on border demarcation between Thailand and Cambodia could reach agreement.

"The listing of Preah Vihear temple was seen as the source of fresh tension and had frequently led to cross-border clashes," Kasit said.

He said Thailand supports "permanent ceasefire" agreement and the country could implement it soon after defense ministers of both countries hold talks. Thailand is ready to go back to negotiating table which both countries solve problems bilaterally.

"Thailand has proposed to hold Joint Boundary Commission (JBC) meeting on Feb 27 and Cambodia should express her sincerity to solve border issue by joining the talks," Thai FM said.

The UNSC called Monday for a "permanent ceasefire" between Thailand and Cambodia and expressed that the members would like to see both countries resort to bilateral negotiation in handling border conflict.

Border clashes between Thailand and Cambodia erupting on Feb 4 and lasting until Feb 7 left many soldiers and civilians on both sides dead and injured. Both claimed the other side started attacking first.

Cambodia last week submitted petitions to UNSC calling for international intervention in handling the issue. The two countries finally decided to address the issue with UNSC in New York on Monday.

The International Court of Justice ruled in 1962 that the temple belonged to Cambodia but the problem of ownership of the stretch of 4.6-square-kilometre (1.8-square-mile) surrounding land has never been solved.


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