Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Thai army ready to defend sovereignty

Bangkok Post

Thai troops will remain at the Thai-Cambodian border area, and they are fully ready to protect the country’s sovereignty, Thai army spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

According to the Royal Thai Army’s statement, it will not withdraw its troops from the disputed border because the territory belongs to Thailand.

Earlier Tuesday, Brig-Gen Yim Pin, the Cambodian army chief, claimed that all Thai soldiers had retreated approximately a kilometre from the disputed border area.

“The three armed forces of Thailand together with their reinforcements are prepared for the potential armed confrontations in the border area to defend the country’s sovereignty. The Supreme Commander Songkitti Jakkabatra will report the army’s information to Prime Minister and Defence Minister Somchai Wongsawat,” Col Sansern said.

He said the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs will determine on the return of Thai people living in Cambodia.

The Thai armed forces have already coordinated with each other to bring back Thai people from Cambodia, once the army received the government’s order, Col Sansern said.

The army spokesman still believed that negotiations between both countries should be a better alternative to settle the border row.

Thailand will not launch an offensive first, but if Cambodia encroaches into Thailand’s territory, the Thai army is ready to confront any incident to protect the country’s sovereignty, Col Sansern concluded.

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