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Pattaya Daily News

24 July 2008 :: 13:07:03 pm 43243

Security Council Mulls Thai-Cambodia Emergency Session

BANGKOK, July 24 - The 15-member United Nations Security Council--the world‘s top body for responding to or preventing wars and likely military conflict-- has not yet opted to add the Thai-Cambodia emergency to its agenda as requested by Phnom Penh to defuse tensions along their border, according to the Thai envoy to the UN.
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Thai Permanent Representative to the United Nations Don Pramudwinai said the Security Council was mulling over whether to address the tense military standoff between Cambodia and Thailand as the two neighbours mass more troops along their border.

Mr. Don said, after the meeting ran for one hour, that no decision had yet been made as to whether or when to meet as the membership could not agree upon the solution.

The Thai envoy said the Security Council had to agree unanimously for the solution.

The request for the emergency meeting was made by Cambodia after it claimed that Thailand had deployed large numbers of troops along Thai-Cambodian border.

The dispute focuses on an area that both nations claim as their own, adjacent to Preah Vihear temple, an ancient Hindu edifice built at the height of the Khmer empire in the 11th century.

The International Court of Justice awarded the temple to Cambodia in 1962, in a decision that Thailand was reluctant to accept. Nevertheless the only practical access for visitors from either country, or from abroad, is through Thailand.

On July 8, the temple was added to the World Heritage List maintained by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Cambodia said earlier that it hoped the UN would help broker a solution to the standoff, which has essentially existed since 1962 when Thailand was essentially forced to accept a decision. Thailand holds that the two sides can resolve the matter without an outside mediator.

Meanwhile, Thai Deputy Prime Minister Sahas Banditkul said Wednesday that three permanent members of UNSC and its two non-permanent members agreed Wednesday with Thailand that talks on the Thai-Cambodian border dispute should be held and settled through bilateral means.

Mr. Sahas, representing Thailand at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers meeting in Singapore, said he had met with Russian, American and Chinese foreign ministers on the sidelines of the ASEAN ministerial meeting and briefed them on the dispute over the 4.6-square-kilometre area adjacent to the ancient Preah Vihear temple.

Russia, the US and China are permanent members of the UNSC and are dialogue partners of ASEAN.

Mr. Sahas said he had also discussed the issue with Indonesia and Vietnam, both non-permanent members of the UN Security Council, and both agreed with Thailand that the problem should be solved through talks between Bangkok and Phnom Penh. Bangkok has proposed that the dispute should be settled by means of bilateral talks but Phnom Penh wants the Security Council to hold an emergency meeting over the issue on Monday over Thailand’s objections. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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