Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Cambodia absent at Asean diplomats' briefing

(, TNA) - The Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs said foreign diplomats expressed their understanding about the border situation between Thailand and Cambodia.

However, it was noted that Cambodian and Philippine envoys did not attend the briefing on Wednesday morning.

Department of Information director-general and Foreign Ministry spokesman Tharit Charungvat said Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs Veerasak Futrakul spent about 45 minutes to clarify the Thai-Cambodian border dispute to eight Asean ambassadors to Thailand.

According to Mr Tharit, the permanent secretary explained the incident when two Thai soldiers were wounded and had legs amputated after stepping on a landmine in Thai territory near Preah Vihear temple on Oct 3.

After inspection, the landmine was found to be a Russian-made PMN2 landmine. The Thai government claimed that the country never used this type of landmine before and it was recently planted.

During the briefing, Mr Veerasak further said Thailand and Cambodia are both signatories of the Ottawa Convention, and the landmine incident violated the agreement.

He reiterated Thailand's stance, saying the country will do its best to protect and maintain its sovereignty.

Mr Tharit said the foreign ambassadors expressed their understanding on the tense conflict between Thailand and Cambodia and they also thanked the ministry for promptly clarifying the situation.

The delegates from Singapore and Indonesia expressed special concern over the border row, and they would like Thailand and Cambodia to be considerate in solving the problem.

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