Thailand is ready to talk with Cambodia to resolve differences amicablyJuly 28th, 2008 - 11:29 am ICT by Amrit Rashmisrisethi
Foreign Minister Tej Bunnag (เตช บุนนาค) is leading a Thai delegation to Cambodia for the Thai-Cambodian Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Siem Reap, to discuss the situation in the area adjacent to the Temple of Preah Vihear.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Tharit Charungvat (ธฤต จรุงวัฒน์) says the Thai side is 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. He remarks that attempts to bring the bilateral issue to broader frameworks at this stage could complicate the situation and, in turn, could produce undesirable repercussions on the good relations and goodwill between the peoples in both countries.
The meeting is the second round of negotiations between the two countries after the meeting of the General Border Committee on July 21, 2008 in Sa Kaeo Province of Thailand. Mr. Tharit says the Thai side hopes that Cambodia will come to the table with an open mind and good faith. No preconditions should be set for this mnisterial meeting to settle everything by July 28 as the issues involved are complicated in nature. As far as the border issues are concerned, friendly nations should give space and time for authorities concerned to resolve them, he adds.
Regarding Cambodia’s allegations that Thailand had committed an act of aggression by encroaching into Cambodia territory, the Foreign Ministry spokesman dismisses the allegations because the area mentioned is within Thailand’s territory and sovereignty
The spokesman further notes that over several years, Cambodia had allowed its civilians and over 200 soldiers 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 has so far received no response from the latter.
The spokesman reiterates that what Thailand has sought to achieve all along is to ensure that the conditions are as both countries have agreed to under the MoU in order to pave the way for the Thai-Cambodian Joint Boundary Commission to carry out its work.
Source : National News Bureau, Public Relations Department of Thailand