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Thailand: Press briefing on the situation in the area adjacent to the Temple of Preah Vihear (Conflict, Cambodia) ខែកក្កដា 29, 2008

Posted by សុភ័ក្ត្រ in News.
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On 27 July 2008, Mr. Tharit Charungvat, Director-General of the Department of Information and Foreign Ministry Spokesman, gave a press briefing on Statement by Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Meeting on the situation in the area adjacent to the Temple of Preah Vihear

On 27 July 2008, Mr. Tharit Charungvat, Director-General of the Department of Information and Foreign Ministry Spokesman, gave a press briefing at the Foreign Ministry. Gist as follows:

1. Statement by Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Tharit read the following statement of Mr. Tej Bunnag, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand:

1.1 Pursuant to the agreement between the Prime Minister of Thailand and the Prime Minister of Cambodia to have the Foreign Ministers of the two countries meet to discuss the situation in the area adjacent to the Temple of Preah Vihear, the Royal Thai Government attached high importance to the said ministerial meeting and expedited the appointment of a new Minister of Foreign Affairs in order to undertake this task. The new Foreign Minister is scheduled to have an audience with His Majesty the King to be sworn in on the evening of 27 July 2008.

1.2 The bilateral meeting with H.E. Mr. Hor Namhong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia, is the first assignment of the Foreign Minister and his first opportunity to begin discussions with the Cambodian side on the issue. The Foreign Minister is determined to make his best efforts towards resolving the situation.

1.3 The Foreign Minister recognizes that the issue is complex but is confident that on the basis of their close and long-standing friendship, the two countries will be able to find ways to resolve the issue together.

2. Meeting on the situation in the area adjacent to the Temple of Preah Vihear

The Foreign Ministry spokesman said that Mr. Tej Bunnag, the new Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, will lead the Thai delegation, comprising high-ranking officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Border Affairs of the Supreme Command Headquarters, the Royal Thai Survey Department, and the Office of the National Security Council, to the Thai-Cambodian Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Siem Reap on 28 July 2008 to discuss the situation in the area adjacent to the Temple of Preah Vihear.

The Thai side was ready to engage with Cambodia on the matter in good faith and in a spirit of good neighbourliness in order to resolve the situation peacefully, noting that the two countries are permanent next-door neighbours and the peoples of both countries desire to live together in close friendship. The issues involved were complex, and attempts to bring the bilateral issue to broader frameworks at this stage, while the bilateral process was ongoing, could complicate the situation and, in turn, could produce undesirable repercussions on the good relations and goodwill between the peoples in both countries. Recalling the incident when the Royal Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh was burned down by a group of Cambodians before Cambodia’s previous general elections in 2003, Mr. Tharit noted that despite the severity of that crisis, which shocked the international community, Thailand chose to work with Cambodia bilaterally and was able to overcome the problem, thus bringing the bilateral relations back to normalcy within a short period of time until now.

The spokesman said the 28 July meeting would be the second round of negotiations between the two countries after the meeting of the General Border Committee on 21 July 2008 in Sa Kaew Province of Thailand. The Thai side was hopeful that Cambodia would come to the table with an open mind and good faith. No pre-condition should be set for this ministerial meeting to settle everything on 28 July as the issues involved were complicated in nature, and in similar cases where border issues are concerned, friendly nations would give space and time for authorities concerned to resolve them, he added.

Regarding Cambodia’s allegations that Thailand had committed an act of aggression by encroaching into Cambodian territory, the Foreign Ministry spokesman dismissed the allegations because the area concerned was within Thailand’s territory and sovereignty.

The spokesman further noted that actually, over several years, Cambodia had allowed its civilians and over 200 military personnel to move into the area. This action on the part of Cambodia violated the Memorandum of Understanding on the survey and demarcation of the common boundary, signed in June 2000, under which the two countries agreed not to carry out any work resulting in changes to the environment of the frontier zone, pending the survey and demarcation of the common land boundary. The Thai side therefore resorted to diplomatic means in accordance with international practice by making four protests to the Cambodian Government since 2004, but received no response from the latter. What Thailand has sought to achieve all along is to ensure that the conditions are as both countries had agreed to under the MoU in order to pave the way for the Thai-Cambodian Joint Boundary Commission to carry out its work.

ប្រភព៖ http://www.isria.info/RESTRICTED/D/2008/JULY_31/diplo_28july2008_42.htm

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