Monday, 7 February 2011

U.N. head says hostilities should stop

via CAAI

Published: Feb. 6, 2011

NEW YORK, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Deadly military border clashes between Thailand and Cambodia should cease and be replaced by negotiations, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Sunday.

The hostilities, relating to mutual claims over the 11th century Preah Vihear Hindu temple along the border between the Southeast Asian neighbors, escalated last Friday with gunfire between the two sides, with each country accusing the other of starting the fighting.

The temple was awarded in 1962 to Cambodia by the International Court of Justice.

A Ban spokesman said the secretary-general appealed to both sides to cease hostilities and continue efforts to finding a lasting solution in "a spirit of dialogue and good neighborly relations," U.N. News reported.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, accusing Thailand of aggression, Sunday urged the U.N. Security Council to urgently convene a meeting even as shelling continued, The New York Times reported.

The report said Cambodian soldiers were preparing to go to the Preah Vihear temple with their government claiming the shelling had damaged part of the Hindu temple. The Times report said at least two people have died in the latest fighting and several more have been injured.

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, whose government is under pressure from the so-called Yellow Shirts over the issue, said the border issue can be solved at the bilateral level, Thai News Agency reported. The Southeast Asian Nations regional grouping reportedly has offered to mediate in the issue.

Despite rumors of fresh fighting Sunday, a Thai military official said the situation at the border was returning to normal, the report said.

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