February 04, 2011
Cambodia and Thailand foreign ministers on Friday pledged to avoid military clashes along the border and vowed to strengthen bilateral cooperation on all fields.
After the 7th meeting of the Joint Commission held in Siem Reap province, both Hor Namhong, deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs of Cambodia and Kasit Piromya, his Thai counterpart pledged that both countries had agreed to push more cooperation including tourism, labor and border issues.
Meanwhile, Hor Namhong said that although the two countries have build up military forces along in recent weeks, it's unlikely that military clashes could happen.
During the half-day plenary session of the 7th JC, the two sides discussed many topics of common interests including a push for single visa to two countries and later among the five countries as in the regional grouping of Ayeyawady-Chay Praoya- Mekong-Economics Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS), Cambodian laborers working in Thailand, demining along the border and examination of border marks in order to end misunderstanding on the disputed borderline.
On this border issue, Hor Namhong said the two sides have agreed that the border meeting between the two countries' specialized committee will soon be conducted, but no exact date is given.
On the same topic, Kasit Piromya was suggesting joint-sky topography on the border marks be surveyed.
As of now, 33 out of 73 border marks along 803 kilometers border lines between the two nations have been found.
Following the information on the military confrontation at the border, both Hor Namhong and Kasit affirmed that it is important to avoid any kind of military clash between the two sides.
And in response to Thai demand for removing a Cambodian flag at Keo Sikha Kiri Svarak Pagoda near Cambodia's Preah Vihear Temple, Hor Namhong said Cambodia had made it clear to his counterpart that the flag will not be removed, saying it is raised only " inside Cambodian territory".
Kasit who arrived in Cambodia on Thursday for the JC, is scheduled to come over to Phnom Penh to meet with two detained Thais activists who were convicted Tuesday to eight and six years in jail for illegal entry, trespass into military zone and espionage.
The two were arrested in Cambodia's Banteay Meanch Province on Dec. 29, 2010.