February 7, 2011
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Monday disclosed that consultations are ongoing among the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on how the regional organization could help resolve the conflict between Thailand and Cambodia.
Meanwhile, ASEAN Secretary-General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan told Thailand and Cambodia that the fighting on their borders is undermining confidence in ASEAN and affecting economic recovery, tourism and investment prospect in the region.
The violent conflict started with a gun fire and artillery duels last Friday near the long disputed site of an ancient Hindu Temple, Preah Vihear.
While the International Court of Justice decided in favor of Cambodia in 1962, the areas adjacent to the Temple remain under dispute.
“I am deeply concerned about the serious situation on the border between Thailand and Cambodia,” the AESAN secretary-general said in a statement issued over the weekend.
“This violent conflict must be brought under control and the two parties must return to the negotiating table soonest,” Surin said.
He revealed that he has been in touch with Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Hor Namhong and Thailand Foreign Minister, Kasit Piramya and appealed for calm and maximum restraint on both sides.
Surin said he expressed his “fervent desire to see both sides in a positive exchange as soon as possible.”