DPM Hor Namhong’s Address at the UNSC’s Meeting in New York
Phnom Penh, February 15, 2011 AKP – The following is the full address of Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation H.E. Hor Namhong at the meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Feb. 14 in New York:
Cambodia Hopes to “Avoid Any Large Military Clash” with Thailand
Phnom Penh, February 15, 2011 AKP – Cambodia said here on Monday that the current situation of a cease-fire with Thailand after the border clashes “remains extremely fragile,” but the country still hopes to “resolve the problem peacefully, in order to avoid any large military clash.”
The statement came as Hor Namhong, Cambodian deputy prime minister and minister of foreign minister and international cooperation, was addressing a closed UN Security Council meeting, according to Chinese News Agency Xinhua.
“Even though there were two de facto agreements on a cease-fire, the current situation, however, remains extremely fragile,” he said. “Fresh fighting may breakout again at any time without forewarning.”
Earlier on Monday, Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya told reporters here that “There is no reason why there should be the continuation of the conflict (with Cambodia) in the sense that we have all of the bilateral mechanisms to do the border negotiations to look at the border security through our respective defense ministers under the general border committee.”
Earlier on Monday, the Security Council called on both Cambodia and Thailand to display maximum restraint, avoid any action that may aggravate the situation, and to establish a permanent cease- fire.
Also on Monday, Marty Natalegawa, the chairman of ASEAN and Indonesian foreign minister, told reporters here that the Thai- Cambodian border clashes needs to be resolved peacefully, through dialogue and negotiations.
Earlier this month, both Cambodia and Thailand have written to the 15-nation Security Council on the border conflict. The Cambodian-Thai border dispute was also brought before the Security Council after the clashes took place in October 2008.
The border between Thailand and Cambodia has never been fully demarcated. From Feb. 4 to Feb. 7, at least eight people were killed and 67 others were injured in border clashes, reports said.
Although the International Court of Justice ruled in 1962 that the Temple of Preah Vihear belonged to Cambodia, the row over the 4.6-square-km territory around the temple has never been resolved.
The conflict has occurred just a week after Cambodia’s Temple of Preah Vihear was enlisted as World Heritage Site on July 7, 2008, since then both sides have built up military forces along the border, and periodic clashes occurred, resulting in the deaths of troops on both sides.
Hor Namhong, also in his statement at the closed-door meeting, accused Thailand of “aggression,” saying “Cambodia has exercised utmost restraint and maintained great patience in negotiating with Thailand to resolve the problem peacefully, in order to avoid any large military clash.”
“Negotiations bilaterally have failed, therefore we need one other third parties to have the two party to settle our problem,” Namhong told reporters here after closed door Security Council meeting.
On Monday, the Press and Quick Reaction Unit of the Office of the Council of Ministers of Cambodia issued a statement rejecting “the false statement of Thai Premier Abhisit Vejjajiva on Preah Vihear temple.”
The statement said that the Bangkok Post on Feb. 11 reported, and which was also published in the National News Bureau of Thailand, that “Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva asks UNESCO to remove the temple of Preah Vihear from the World Heritage List, claiming that the delisting of the temple of Preah Vihear would remove tensions between Cambodia and Thailand.”
The statement “strongly rejected the false statement of Thai prime minister”, saying that the “real tension has been caused by Thailand’s long-standing territorial invasion.” –AKP
Security Council Urges Cambodia, Thailand to Establish Permanent Cease-fire
Phnom Penh, February 15, 2011 AKP – The UN Security Council urged Cambodia and Thailand to display maximum restraint and to establish a permanent cease-fire, the Council President of the month, Brazilian Ambassador to the UN Maria Ribeiro Viotti, was quoted as telling reporters here Monday by Chinese News Agency Xinhua.
The members of the Security Council expressed their great concern about the recent armed clashes, and called on the two sides to display maximum restraint and avoid any action that may aggravate the situation, said Viotti, reading a press statement after a close-door meeting on the border conflict between the two south-eastern Asian countries.
“The members of the Security Council further urged the parties to establish a permanent cease-fire and to implement it fully and resolve the situation peacefully and through effective dialogue,” she said.
Viotti said the Security Council expressed support for the active efforts of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in this matter and encouraged the parties to continue to cooperate with the organization.
She added that the Council welcomed the upcoming meeting of ministers of foreign affairs of ASEAN on Feb. 22.
Armed clashes between Cambodia and Thailand from Feb.4 to Feb.7 had killed at least eight people and injured 67 others. Tens of thousands of villagers nearby the disputed areas had fled their homes.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa who also attended the security council meeting, told reporters it is crystal clear that the issue must be resolved peacefully through dialogue.
“The cease-fire must hold and there must be some kind of modalities and communication system developed to ensure that the cease-fire holds,” Natalegawa said.
The border between Thailand and Cambodia has never been completely demarcated. Although the International Court of Justice ruled in 1962 that the 11th century Preah Vihear Temple itself belonged to Cambodia, the row over the 4.6-sq-km territory around the temple has never been resolved. –AKP
Thai-Cambodian Border Conflict Has to Be Resolved through Dialogue: ASEAN Chief
Phnom Penh, February 15, 2011 AKP – The border clashes between Thailand and Cambodia that took place on Feb. 4-7 need to be resolved peacefully, through dialogue and negotiations, Marty Natalegawa, who is the chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Indonesia’s minister of foreign affairs, said here on Monday.
“The ceasefire must hold … We must try to solve the problem through dialogue with support of ASEAN’s efforts,” Natalegawa was quoted as saying by Chinese News Agency Xinhua while briefing reporters after a closed-door meeting of the UN Security Council discussing the conflict.
The armed clashes so far have killed at least eight people and injured 67 others. Tens of thousands of villagers around the disputed areas have fled their homes.
Natalegawa said he feels “far more optimistic than before in terms of where we are.”
Answering a question on the UN role in this conflict, Natalegawa said that “first and foremost there needs to be a bilateral solution with the support and the active engagement of the region.”
In the weeks ahead, an all-level type of approach on the issue will be developed, Natalegawa noted.
ASEAN plays a role in terms of diffusing the conflict, he said.
On Feb. 22, ASEAN will hold a foreign ministers meeting in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. –AKP
Club of Cambodian Journalists Holds a Roundtable Discussion with Lawmakers
Phnom Penh, February 15, 2011 AKP – A Roundtable Discussion on “Promoting Freedom of Expression: Liberalization of the Media” was organized here last Friday by the Club of Cambodian Journalists (CCJ).
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Prach Sim, CCJ secretary general, said this roundtable is an important forum providing more knowledge for Cambodian journalists about the new criminal code and the journalism law.
For his part, H.E. Pen Panha, member of the National Assembly, said media has been playing a key role in strengthening Cambodia’s rule of law.
H.E. Pen Panha also asked the Cambodian journalists to pay more attention on journalism professionalism in order to promote the freedom of expression and the rule of law in the country. –AKP
By KHAN Sophirom