Saturday, 13 June 2009

Cambodia and Thailand agree to avoid armed clash

June 13, 2009

PHNOM PENH - Cambodian and Thai Prime Ministers Friday agreed to prevent armed clash from reoccurring along the border between the two South East Asian countries, said Cambodian government officials.

“Prime Minister Hun Sen asked Abhisit to order Thai army to not provoke any armed clash and to solve the border issues through peaceful mean,” Ieng Sophalet, assistant of Prime Minister Hun Sen told journalists after a meeting between Hun Sen and Abhisit Vajjejiva at the Cambodian ministry of foreign affairs during his visit in Cambodia.

He added that Abhisit agreed with Prime Minister Hun Sen to prevent any armed clash from taking place again at the border and to solve the remaining border issues, based on the existing mechanism.

This was the first time that Abhisit visited Cambodia since he came into office in December last year. His visit was also welcome by opposition from the civil society, which accused Thailand for invasion into Cambodian territory. Cambodian Confederation of Union, which is the largest organisation in Cambodia, attempted to organise a rally against his visit but failed as the Cambodian authority stationed police force to block his office, making it impossible to gather the supporters to rally.

Rong Chhun, the president of the CCU held a press conference in its office instead of marching along the street, appealing to Thailand to stop invading into Cambodian territory.

The border dispute between Cambodia and Thailand flared after UNISCO listed Preah Vihear temples a world heritage site, igniting anger among the Thai nationalists. The dispute erupted into several armed clashes since last year, bringing deaths and damage to both sides.

During Abhisit’s visit, Thailand gave back the Cambodian government seven antiques, which were stolen from Cambodia by illegal smugglers.

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