Friday, 18 February 2011

Thai FM secretary dismisses Cambodia's 4-point proposal

via CAAI

BANGKOK, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- Phnom Penh's asking Bangkok to sign a ceasefire agreement misses the point since it was Cambodian troops who initiated all the clashes, the secretary to Thai Foreign Minister told Xinhua on Thursday.

Chavanont Intarakomalyasut, Secretary to Thai Foreign Minister, responded to the four-point agreement proposed by Phnom Penh on Thursday.

In the proposal, Phnom Penh asks Bangkok to sign a ceasefire agreement, not to move armed forces until the resolution on demarcation of the disputed border area, to have open talks between two countries' army commanders, to ask representatives from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to observe the disputed area as to ensure the permanent ceasefire.

Chavanont dismissed Phnom Penh's proposal, saying that Thailand has never caused a problem, but Camboida.

"Thailand has always welcomed for peace talk. Our stance is the same: ceasefire and talk," said the secretary.

Responding to the third point of Phnom Penh's proposal, Chavanont said observation from the ASEAN was not necessary.

"Bilateral mechanism is enough to solve the conflict," he insisted.

Bilateral negotiation has long been the position of Bangkok, while third party intervention is Phnom Penh's position.

Cambodia and Thailand have had border conflict just a week after Cambodia's Preah Vihear temple was enlisted as the World Heritage Site on July 7, 2008.

The conflict is due to Thai claim of the ownership of 1.8 square miles (4.6 sq km) of scrub next to the temple, resulting in a military build-up along the border, and periodic clashes between Cambodian and Thai soldiers have resulted in the deaths of troops on both sides.

The latest clashes on Feb. 4-7, with a barrage of artillery shells unleashed on both sides of the border, had claimed the lives of soldiers and civilians on both sides and also caused tens of thousands of the two countries' villagers near the disputed areas fleeing for safe shelters.

The United Nations Security Council on Monday urged Cambodia and Thailand to display maximum restraint and to establish a permanent ceasefire. It also expressed support for the active efforts of ASEAN in the matter and encouraged the parties to continue to cooperate with the organization.

Editor: Xiong Tong

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