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Cambodia seeks help from UN, ASEAN over military stalemate with Thailand ខែកក្កដា 23, 2008

Posted by សុភ័ក្ត្រ in News.
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PHNOM PENH, July 22 (Xinhua) — The Cambodian government has written letters to the United Nations Security Council, UNESCO and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for mediation to end its week-long military standoff with Thailand in border area near the Preah Vihear Temple.

    “We have asked the UN Security Council to have an urgent meeting to find a peaceful resolution for our border tension,” said Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hor Namhong here Tuesday.

    UN could possibly have a meeting next Monday, he said at a briefing meeting with foreign diplomatic corps, ASEAN and EU representatives, about border tension between Cambodia and Thailand.

    “We have asked the Thai side to withdraw their troops from Cambodian territory, and requested the Thai side to return to the status quo prior to July 15, 2008,” he added.

    In another development, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has written a letter to UNESCO, accusing Thailand of aggression by moving troops into disputed border territory, and warned that Thailand threatened peace in the region.

    “Thai behavior gravely threatens peace and stability in the region” and Thailand is “defying all principles of international law,” Hun Sen said in the letter addressed to Koichiro Matsuura, director general of UNESCO.

    Thailand’s “unwarranted aggression” violates international convention designed to protect World Heritage sites during times of conflict by stationing heavily armed soldiers near the Preah Vihear Temple, he said in the letter dated Monday and made public Tuesday.

    In addition, Hor Namhong wrote a letter on Monday to ask Singapore, the presiding country of ASEAN, to form a regional inter-ministerial group to help find a peaceful solution to the crisis and avoid military confrontation between the two ASEAN members.

    In the letter addressed to Singaporean Foreign Minister George Yeo, he said, “Thai troops with artillery and tanks are building up along the border, constituting a very serious threat not only to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Cambodia, but also to peace and stability in the region.”

    Meanwhile on Tuesday, the Cambodian Council of Ministers organized a special press conference to show maps, files and documents to domestic and international journalist to testify the kingdom’s conventional and legalized ownership of the border area and the Preah Vihear Temple.

    “Thailand invaded Cambodian sovereignty, saying that the land where they deployed their troops is Thailand soil according to their map which was drawn unilaterally,” said Chan Tani, secretary of state of the Council of Ministers.

    Currently, both sides stationed over a thousand troops at the border near the Preah Vihear Temple, which was listed as a World Heritage Site on July 7 by the UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee.

    Bilateral top-level talks on Monday in Thailand failed to reach any agreement to end the military standoff.

    On last Tuesday, three Thai protesters trespassed the border to reclaim the temple, but were immediately arrested. Thai troops then came in to fetch them, thus triggering face-off with Cambodian soldiers there. Bilateral military build-up then occurred day by day. 

ប្រភព៖ http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-07/22/content_8750616.htm

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