Sunday, 13 February 2011

China backs ASEAN initiative to end Thailand-Cambodia conflict

via CAAI

Beijing: China on Saturday backed efforts by the ASEAN to bring down the tensions between Cambodia and Thailand over border conflict, as it underlined the need to exercise restraint to put an end to the military confrontation.

"China supports mediation efforts by the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to ease Cambodia-Thailand tensions and would like to work with ASEAN and the international community to play a constructive role in resolving the conflicts," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said.

Armed clashes between Cambodia and Thailand from February 4 to 7 had killed at least eight people and injured 67 others.

Ma called on the two nations to stay calm and exercise restraint, put an end to military confrontation, prevent the situation from escalating and resolve disputes through consultations.

Amid the tension on the Thailand and Cambodia border, a concerned ASEAN has asked all its foreign ministers to meet for an urgent conclave to discuss the dispute.

The invitations to the foreign ministers have been sent by Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, the current ASEAN chair and the meeting is set to be held on February 22.

Tens of thousands of villagers nearby the disputed areas had fled their homes.

China was paying attention to the clashes, Ma said in a statement.

Stressing that Cambodia and Thailand are China's friendly neighbours, Ma said Beijing has kept in close contact with both countries since the clashes began.

A report by state-run Xinhua news agency said that the border between Thailand and Cambodia has never been completely demarcated.

Although the International Court of Justice ruled in 1962 that an 11th century temple itself belonged to Cambodia, the row over the 4.6-sq-km territory around the temple has never been resolved, it said.


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