Cambodia To Ask for ASEAN Observers for the Ceasefire
Phnom Penh, February 17, 2011 AKP – Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H.E. Hor Namhong said during the upcoming ASEAN foreign ministers scheduled to be held on Feb. 22 in Jakarta, he will request ASEAN observers to control the ceasefire at Cambodian-Thai border.
From 21:00 on Feb. 15 to 05:00 on Feb. 16, 2011, Thai armed forces violated the resolution of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on 14 February 2011, by firing many grenades and numerous rounds of 81 mm mortars and machine guns into Phnom Trap area located approximately 1,600 meters from the border, in the vicinity of the Temple of Preah Vihear.
“I will also request the presence of a representative of ASEAN or of the chair of ASEAN in all Cambodia-Thailand discussions, even in the Joint Border Commission’s meeting,” H.E. Hor Namhong said yesterday at Phnom Penh International Airport upon his return from the UNSC’s meeting on Cambodia-Thailand border dispute in New York.
“Bilateral negotiations from 2008 to 2010 have failed. We have reached some agreements, but they have not been implemented because Thailand relied on pretext of waiting for the approval from its Parliament,” he explained, stressing that in addition, Thailand conducted in early February a war of aggression against Cambodia.
The Cambodian deputy prime minister considered the UNSC’s meeting as a great success for Cambodia, stressing that the country achieved its objectives of having the third party, especially ASEAN, in the discussion on border conflict with Thailand, and of revealing Thailand’s war of aggression against Cambodia.
In its press statement, the UNSC urged the two parties – Cambodia and Thailand – to establish a permanent ceasefire and it supported the active efforts of ASEAN in this matter, he recalled.
H.E. Hor Namhong further underlined Cambodia’s stance not to reject any negotiation with the Thai side. Thailand has proposed a Joint Border Commission’s meeting in late February, but we replied that the meeting could not be done before the UNSC’s meeting. However, Thai media has even reported that Cambodia wrote a letter to reject the meeting. “It’s all lies,” he said. –AKP
Article in Khmer by CHIM Nary
Article in English by SOKMOM Nimul
DPM Sok An Informs Canadian Investors about Cambodia’s Investment Opportunity
Phnom Penh, February 17, 2011 AKP – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers H.E. Sok An told a group of 20 Canadian investors on Tuesday that Cambodia has potentiality of investment in the areas of extractive and agro-industry, garments as well as tourism sector.
He said that Cambodia has offshore and onshore oil concession blocs. As many of these are already being explored by foreign companies, foreign investors can see this as another investment opportunity, according to the Press and Quick Reaction Unit of the Office of the Council of Ministers.
The Cambodian deputy prime minister stressed that Cambodia’s exports have been enhanced by U.S.-based Most Favored Nation (MFN) trade status as well as quota free for export to China and EU.
More than 250 garment factories have been operating in the country, with an employment of more than 300,000 workers. Cambodia also has vast areas of red soil, which is suitable for rubber plantations, he said.
H.E. Sok An also encouraged Canadian investors to invest in Cambodia’s rice processing plants to improve the quality of rice for exports.
Agriculture is Cambodia’s biggest sector, which absorbs the country’s largest employment given the fact that more than 80 percent of the country’s population lived in the countryside. “We have lots of rice surplus. Our farmers, who live near the borders, sell the crop at low price to Vietnam and Thailand,” he said.
He further said that Cambodia, which is rich in cultural heritage of more than 800 ancient temples, has high potentiality in tourism sector.
Cambodia received more than 2.7 million tourists last year and expects a 15 percent increase per year.
In response, Canada’s ambassador Ron Hoffmann, who led the group, said: “We are keen to do businesses in Cambodia.” The visiting group represents various sectors: manufacturer of innovation transportation, pipeline and fitting manufacturers as well as solution provider, export development Canada, environmental consulting company, equity investment, telecommunication and financial service as well as consulting firms, engineering and the mining companies.
Deputy Prime Minister Sok An also told the group that Cambodia is expected to produce her first oil in late 2012 from offshore Block A, where the U.S. Chevron Texaco has found potential for production of crude oil and natural gas.
He said that Thailand is violating the International Court of Justice (ICJ) decision which ruled in 1962 that: the Temple of Preah Vihear is situated in territory under the sovereignty of Cambodia.
The Court found that Thailand is under obligation to withdraw any military or police forces, or other guards or keepers, stationed by her at the Temple, or in its vicinity on Cambodian territory.
Thailand is under an obligation to restore to Cambodia any objects of the kind specified in the Cambodia’s fifth submission which may, since the date of the occupation of the Temple by Thailand in 1954, have been removed from the Temple or the Temple area by the Thai authority, said ICJ’s Judgment. –AKP