A five-member Indonesian military team visited the disputed Thai-Cambodian border area on February 26 to pave the way for deployment of Indonesian observers in the region, a senior Cambodian defence official said.
Gen. Neang Phat, Deputy Minister of the National Defense of Cambodia, told Kyodo News by telephone that the Indonesian advance team visited the ancient temple of Preah Vihear and the surrounding area to find a suitable location for deployment of observers who will monitor the implementation of a ceasefire agreement between Cambodia and Thailand.
He expressed his hope that the Indonesian observers will start their work soon.
At an ASEAN foreign ministers' meeting in Jakarta on February 22, Thailand and Cambodia agreed to invite Indonesia, which is the current ASEAN Chair, to send observers to monitor the long-term ceasefire agreement between the two neighbours.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said Indonesia will dispatch two separate teams to Cambodia and Thailand, each consisting of 15 to 20 military personnel and civilians.
In related news, the Cambodian news agency AKP quoted Prime Minister Hun Sen at a annual meeting of the Ministry of Home Affairs on February 25 saying that he suggested Indonesia maintain its role as an observer until Cambodia takes over the rotating ASEAN Chair in 2012.