Published: 28/09/2010 at 12:00 AM
NEW YORK : The Foreign Ministry is preparing to review a proposal to open new temporary checkpoints along the Cambodian border as part of a plan to restore relations.
The proposal to open new checkpoints was put on hold while relations cooled between the two countries, only thawing recently when the two agreed to return their ambassadors to each other's capital.
Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya did not specify yesterday where the border checkpoints would be located but said the spots had been picked and would be in areas safe from landmines.
The checkpoints would facilitate the flow of travel and tourism between the two countries, Mr Kasit said, adding the two countries must adhere to the principle of mutual understanding.
The plan would be forwarded for Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's consideration soon and the minister expected cooperative efforts between the two countries to begin next month.
The development came after Mr Abhisit met with Cambodian leader Hun Sen late last week in New York for the first time following a series of diplomatic spats that began with Phnom Penh's appointment of ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra as an economic adviser last November. The two leaders agreed to exchange information at all levels and to check all facts before reacting publicly to developments.
They also agreed to allow border problems _ particularly the dispute over the Preah Vihear temple _ to be settled by legal processes.
Mr Kasit said he would propose to Phnom Penh that the two countries register the names of Thais and Cambodians who cross the border regularly to forage in forests so that they do not fall victim to human trafficking or end up in illegal trades such as timber logging.
He said the measure would help the two sides react more diplomatically in cases where border encroachment is suspected.
Mr Kasit said his ministry would work with the navy and the Defence Ministry to promote cultural exchange activities in border provinces such as Chanthaburi and Trat.
The minister also said he planned to invite Cambodia's information minister and media representatives from the country to Thailand to prevent further misunderstandings from arising due to inaccurate media reports. The trip would follow up on a recent visit made by Prime Minister's Office Minister Ong-art Klampaibul to Phnom Penh.