Monday, 9 November 2009

Conflict with Cambodia enters the House

Published: 9/11/2009

(Posted by CAAI news Media)

Diplomatic conflicts between Thailand and Cambodia could spill into parliament with lawmakers likely to delay approving the results of the land border negotiations between the two countries.

A motion that parliament approves the agreed minutes proposed by the Joint Boundary Commission of the Foreign Ministry is listed ninth on the agenda of a joint session of MPs and senators, Senator Khamnoon Sitthisaman said yesterday.

The minutes result from three rounds of JBC talks in November last year, and in February and April this year.

Approval of the documents, required under Section 190 of the constitution, would allow Thai negotiators to go ahead with joint surveys and demarcating the disputed border near Preah Vihear temple with their Cambodian counterparts.

Thailand claims the area is in Kantharalak district of Si Sa Ket and Cambodia says it is part of Preah Vihear province.

The joint session has been set for today, tomorrow, Thursday and Friday.

Senator Khamnoon said the issue would be considered by parliament but legislators were likely to delay their vote.

Parliament would form a joint committee of MPs and senators to study the issue. The study could continue until next February, as parliament goes into recess on Nov 28.

Mr Khamnoon said an immediate vote was pointless as neither Thailand nor Cambodia would be ready to start demarcation work now, as both were still arguing.

The row started after Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen appointed former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra as his economic adviser and adviser to the government.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva suggested on Friday that his government might suspend negotiations on the land border.

It has already decided to revoke a memorandum of understanding with Cambodia on developing gas and oil deposits in an overlapping border area in the Gulf of Thailand.

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