Pattaya Daily News

08 May 2011 :: 12:05:02 pm 53613

Thai PM briefs ASEAN Summit on Thai-Cambodian border disputes

JAKARTA, Indonesia, May 7 -- Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Saturday clarified the ongoing border dispute between Thailand and Cambodia at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit after his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen raised the issue at the meeting, a senior Thai government official said.
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Meanwhile, there is a possibility that the two men may confer on the issue tomorrow.

Panithan Wattanayakorn, deputy secretary-general to the prime minister, told journalists that Mr Abhisit spent about 10 minutes explaining the border dispute to leaders of ASEAN member countries at the two-day summit which opened in Jakarta early today.

Mr Panithan, acting government spokesperson, quoted Mr Abhisit as telling ASEAN leaders that Thailand realised negative consequences would impact the regional grouping if the dispute between the two countries continued and that was why Thailand had attempted to utilise existing mechanisms including Thai-Cambodian General Border Committee (GBC) and the Joint Boundary Commission (JBC) to resolve the dispute.

Cambodia has been trying to raise the issue at the United Nations and the International Court of Justice while ASEAN members have opined that the problem should be solved between the two countries with ASEAN providing facility, Mr Panithan quoted the prime minister as saying, adding that “talks [between the two heads of state] could be held tomorrow.”

Mr Panithan said Thai Foreign Affairs Minister Kasit Piromya is now “arranging for the talks which could be held tomorrow” on the sidelines of the summit.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, chairperson of ASEAN summit, also agreed that the border dispute occurs within the family and the crux should, therefore, be solved within the family, according to Mr Panithan.

Meanwhile, Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa told journalists that he had informally discussed the border conflict issue with his Thai and Cambodian counterparts this morning and he believed that there is a possibility that the problem could be resolved through prudent steps and that a positive atmosphere must be built so that the two countries could jointly solve the problem.

But the crux seems hard to be solved, at least from the Cambodian side after its Foreign Minister Hor Namhong was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying, “We can never withdraw our troops from our own territory. That should be very clear.”

Report by : MCOT

Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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