Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Thailand to reject UN help over Cambodia

 via CAAI

14 February 2011

By Rachel Harvey

BBC South East Asia Correspondent

Thai protesters have been calling on Thailand not to loose any more land to Cambodia

Thailand says it will tell the UN Security Council that its border dispute with Cambodia can be solved without international intervention.

The Thai and Cambodian foreign ministers will each present their version of events at a special meeting in New York.

At least eight people were killed and thousands evacuated in four days of heavy fighting earlier this month.

Cambodia is pushing for the UN to take a more direct role.

Disputed land

In recent days the guns have fallen quiet, but the situation at the border between the two countries remains extremely tense.

Two heavily armed militaries are ranged against each other across a 4.6-sq km (1130 acres) stretch of disputed land.

Now, for the first time, Thailand's and Cambodia's most senior diplomats are, in effect, being invited to explain themselves to the wider world.

Each accuses the other of being the aggressor. Each has made unverifiable claims about casualties and munitions used.

Cambodia has described itself as being at war with Thailand and has suggested the UN send peacekeepers to the disputed area.

Thailand says there is no need for any third party involvement; existing bilateral channels should be sufficient.

The Indonesian foreign minister, Marty Natalegawa, will also be attending the meeting to represent the regional grouping, Asean.

Asean has been pushing hard to help resolve the dispute.

Speaking after visiting Cambodia and Thailand last week, Mr Natalegawa told the BBC the days of Asean being silent in the face of such problems are no more.

We must, he said, confront these issues head on.

However that is presumably only possible if the two sides are willing to accept offers of help.

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