Pattaya Daily News

23 July 2008 :: 12:07:08 pm 43257

Thailand Reaffirms Bilateral Stance to Un Vis-A-Vis Border Dispute

BANGKOK, July 23 - In response to Cambodia‘s diplomatic offensive concerning the current border spat, Thailand handed a letter to the 15-member United Nations Security Council reaffirming Thailand‘s intention to solve the dispute through bilateral talks, according to the Thai ambassador to the UN.
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Don Pramudwinai told Thai News Agency’s morning news TV programme on Wednesday that Thailand had made the move following Cambodia’s seeking UN intervention in its dispute with Thailand over ownership of the land adjacent to the Preah Vihear temple.

The land in dispute is a 4.6-square-kilometre parcel overlapping area claimed both by Kanthalarak district in Thailand’s Si Sa Ket province and Cambodia’s Preah Vihear province. “In the face of this imminent state of war, this very serious threat to our independence and territorial integrity, we have an obligation to resort to the UN Security Council,” Cambodia Foreign Minister Hor Namhong said.

The Thai ambassador to the UN said Cambodia wanted the Security Council to hold an emergency meeting over the issue on Monday (July 28) despite Thailand’s objection. He said, however, that Thailand will ponder further moves pending the council’s response over the issue.

“The council will call a meeting tomorrow and we will see to it whether or not the council will hold an emergency session upon Cambodia’s request,” Mr. Don said.

“How the council members will react and any implications that would affect Thailand remains to be seen,” the Thai ambassador to the UN said, adding that Bangkok had disagreed with Phnom Penh’s move from the start for fear that it might undermine the solidarity of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon earlier expressed concern on Monday over the escalating tension, calling on Thailand and Cambodia to peacefully resolve the conflict after talks between Thai Supreme Commander Gen. Boonsang Niempradit and Cambodian Defence Minister Tea Banh failed to end a military standoff around the ancient Preah Vihear temple.

Both Thailand and Cambodia are members of ASEAN which is currently holding its annual foreign ministers meeting in Singapore.

Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman Tharit Charungvat suggested that the two countries should avoid using multilateral platform.

Asked what the ministry would do if the Cambodian government urges the International Court of Justice to intervene and make a ruling on the disputed area surrounding the ancient temple, he said Thailand has the right to decide whether it should go before the Court with Cambodia.

The UN Security Council cannot force Thailand, he said.

The 11th century temple site was awarded to Cambodia by the International Court of Justice in 1962, Mr. Tharit said, but the ruling did not concern the disputed area. He said further that Ministry of Foreign Affairs legal team is studying the power of the Court. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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