Cambodian soldiers at the Preah Vihear temple yesterday. Thailand and Cambodia are facing diplomatic pressure to end their standoff. REUTERS
Feb 10, 2011PREAH VIHEAR - Thailand and Cambodia faced growing diplomatic pressure yesterday to end a standoff on a stretch of border surrounding an ancient temple, as Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen declared their recent clashes a "real war".
Mr Hun Sen said the damage sustained by the 900-year-old Preah Vihear temple constituted a war crime - indicating he has no intention of backing down despite a fragile truce that has silenced guns for two days.
"Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva must be held responsible for war crimes," he said, adding that the conflict was not just an armed clash.
Each country blames the other for starting the fighting last Friday which set off several days of artillery duels, leaving at least eight people dead.
Dozens of soldiers were wounded and thousands of civilians evacuated to safety, before fighting eased on Monday.
Diplomats at the United Nations Security Council said it could discuss the issue next week after the United States, China and the Association of South-east Asian Nations urged both sides to show restraint.
Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya will fly to New York on Monday for a meeting with his Cambodian counterpart, Mr Hor Namhong, as well as Indonesian Foreign Minister and Asean envoy Marty Natalegawa.
Mr Kasit's secretary said the three foreign ministers would then explain the conflict to the UN Security Council chairman. AGENCIES