March 08, 2011
Indonesia, the rotating ASEAN chair, has proposed meetings of Cambodian-Thai defense ministers and border chiefs on March 24-25 in Bogor, Indonesia, said Koy Kuong, the spokesman for Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, on Tuesday.
Koy Kuong said that Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa on Monday sent a letter to propose the meetings of Cambodia-Thai General Border Committee (GBC) and Joint Border Committee on Demarcation for Land Boundary (JBC) in Bogor.
"This morning, His Excellency Hor Namhong (Cambodian Foreign Minister) has already replied to the meeting proposal, Cambodia agreed with the proposed schedule," he said.
"In the letter to Marty M. Natalegawa, Hor Namhong wrote that the meetings must be with the presence of ASEAN chair or representative -- at least at the opening of the meetings," said Koy Kuong. "And when the meetings are wrapped up, Cambodia and Thailand have to report to ASEAN chair on the results of the meetings."
"Cambodia hopes that Thailand will also agree with the meeting proposal," he added.
The border between Thailand and Cambodia has never been completely demarcated.
Although the International Court of Justice ruled in 1962 that the Temple of Preah Vihear belonged to Cambodia, the row over the 4.6-square-km territory around the temple has never been resolved.
The conflict has occurred just a week after Cambodia's Preah Vihear temple was enlisted as World Heritage Site on July 7, 2008. Since then both sides have built up military forces along the border, and periodic clashes happened, resulting in the casualties of troops on both sides.
The latest clashes on Feb. 4-7, unleashed a barrage of artillery shells on both sides of the border, have killed and wounded many soldiers and citizens, and caused tens of thousands of the two countries' villagers near the disputed areas to flee.
ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.