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Thailand can defend row with Cambodia in any venue ខែកក្កដា 24, 2008

Posted by សុភ័ក្ត្រ in News.
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BANGKOK, July 23 (TNA) – Thailand’s foreign ministry can defend the country’s position regarding its dispute with Phnom Penh over the ancient mountaintop temple on every platform where Cambodia lodges complaints, spokesman Tharit Charungvat said Wednesday, announcing that the ministry will soon issue a white paper on the subject.

Thailand informed United Nations members of its stance on the dispute with Cambodia over the contested zone a few days ago through Bangkok’s ambassador to the UN, Don Pramudwinai, and has discussed the issue with Security Council and other UN members “on a regular basis,”  Mr. Tharit said.

“Cambodia has fielded a strong lobby and so has Thailand. However, it is up to the UN Security Council whether to accept the issue (submitted by Cambodia) for consideration. Thailand has reiterated that the problem should be settled by the two countries,” Mr. Tharit said.

If bilateral talks fail, then the issue should be forwarded for discussion at the regional level before being sent to the UN, he said.

Several countries have already objected to attempts by Cambodia to bring the issue for discussion among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United Nations as they believed the problem could be settled by the two countries, Mr. Tharit said.

What Cambodia had done would negatively impact upon ASEAN, he said. Nevertheless, its complaint to international platforms would not disadvantage Thailand, he said.
 
Both Thailand and Cambodia are members of ASEAN, whose foreign ministers are now meeting in Singapore. All except Thailand, that is, where the position is currently vacant.
 
The regional body has rejected Cambodia’s request that ASEAN intervene to help end the dispute, saying that Thailand and Cambodia should give the bilateral process a chance to end their spat over the 4.6-square-kilometre disputed area.

The disputed land 4.6 square kilometres claimed both by Kanthalarak district in Thailand’s Si Sa Ket province and Cambodia’s Preah Vihear province. It is located near Preah Vihear temple, awarded a World Heritage site listing by UNESCO earlier this month.
 
The 11th century Khmer temple itself was awarded to Cambodia by the International Court of Justice in 1962, but the ruling did not address the disputed area, Mr. Tharit said earlier.
 
A Ministry of Foreign Affairs legal team is studying the mandate and powers of the Court.

Mr. Don said Cambodia asked the UN Security Council to meet over the issue on July 28 despite Thailand’s objection, but Bangkok is pondering further moves pending the body’s response.

The council meets Thursday and will decide whether to act on the Cambodian petition,  Mr. Don said.

Stressing that Thai-Cambodian relations remain warm, Mr. Tharit said the foreign ministry planned to issue a “white paper” to clarify the dispute. (TNA)

ប្រភព៖ http://enews.mcot.net/view.php?id=5388

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