Monday, 21 February 2011

Thailand affirms bilateral means to solving border conflict

via CAAI

BANGKOK, Feb 20 - Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya reaffirmed Thailand's stance to solving Thai-Cambodian dispute at a bilateral level at the upcoming Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers meeting in Indonesia due to be held on February 22.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Sunday afternoon called a meeting with Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya, Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon and Army Chief Prayuth Chan-ocha to discuss Thailand's stance at the upcoming ASEAN foreign ministers meeting.

After the one-hour meeting, Mr Kasit said that he would affirm solutions to border conflict through existing bilateral mechanisms between Thailand and Cambodia, particularly Thai-Cambodian Joint Boundary Commission (JBC), General Border Committee (GBC) and Cambodian Regional Border Committee (RBC) after the UN Security Council (UNSC) recommended bilateral talks to end Thai-Cambodian dispute facilitated by ASEAN.

"At the meeting on Tuesday in Jakarta, I will insist that Thailand is ready to use the bilateral mechanism that already exists with Cambodia," Mr Kasit said after the meeting.

He said he would clarify at the ASEAN foreign ministers meeting, that progress has been made in the committees meetings and Thailand would continue solving the dispute as suggested by the UNSC.

Thailand sent a letter to invite Cambodia to attend the JBC meeting in Bangkok scheduled to be held later this month and under the JBC framework, Thai defence minister will send a letter to Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Tea Banh to ask Cambodia to host another JBC meeting.

He hoped that the JBC meeting will be held and defence ministers of the two countries can discuss how to prevent border skirmishes.

Thailand will propose that Indonesia, the current ASEAN chair, send observers to accompany Thai army forces at the border to witness the situation and to ensure the ceasefire will be permanent. He said Thailand affirmed to have the ASEAN chair to facilitate negotiation processes.

Mr Kasit also said signing of a ceasefire agreement is not necessary because the existing JBC mechanism and issuing of statement by the two countries are integral to several processes meant to address the border situation. (MCOT online news)

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