Monday, 7 February 2011

Thai gov't wants peace talk with Cambodia: Deputy PM Suthep

via CAAI

BANGKOK, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Thai government hoped to have peace talk with Phnom Penh, said Thai Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban on Monday after the third round of exchanging fire along the Thai-Cambodian disputed border.

Suthep, who oversees security affair, said Thai government always resorted to peaceful means to solve the border conflict, adding that Thai government is ready for negotiation table. It actually depends on its Cambodian counterpart of when it is ready to have peace talk with Bangkok, local media Matichon online reported Suthep's remarks.

Thai and Cambodian troops on Monday morning began exchanging fire along the disputed border.

Reports said heavy artillery and small arms fire could be heard continually in Thai border province of Si Sa Ket's Kantharalak district, and local people took refuge in temporary shelters.

Suthep said he still hopes that the situation is still negotiable without intervention from any third party.

Meanwhile, government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn said on Monday that Thailand is ready and willing to explain its position in the border conflict with Cambodia to the United Nations Security Council, Bangkok Post online reported.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen reportedly has asked the UN to intervene in the Thai-Cambodian conflict.

Panitan said that Thailand had previously explained the situation with Cambodia to the UN Security Council and would send additional explanations to the council if Cambodia repeated its complaint.

Panitan said the agenda of the council depend on the decisions of its permanent members and non-permanent members. All the members must agree with the agenda first, adding that Thailand has briefed its representatives. The council may reach a resolution, but the process is complicated and permanent member countries have the right to veto a resolution.

"At present, there are the issues in Egypt and Tunisia. The issue of Thailand and Cambodia must follow the procedures. If there is a complaint, we are ready to explain. That is it," Bangkok Post quoted Panitan as saying.

The clashes between Cambodia and Thailand troops have already caused many seriously damages to the temple of Preah Vihear, a World Heritage, according to the report from Cambodian military stationed at the border area.

The border between Thailand and Cambodia has never been completely demarcated and the issue of Preah Vihear temple has been an age-old dispute.

Cambodia's Preah Vihear temple was enlisted as World Heritage Site on July 7, 2008. Just a week after the enlistment, Cambodia and Thailand have had border conflict due to Thai claim of the ownership of 1.8 square miles (4.6 sq km) of scrub next to the temple, triggering 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.

Editor: Zhang Xiang

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