BANGKOK, March 9 -- Thailand is ready for this month's Thailand-Cambodia Joint Boundary Commission (JBC) meeting in Jakarta in just three weeks time, March 27-28, as proposed by the Indonesian government and expects the meeting to ease border tensions between Thailand and Cambodia, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said here Wednesday.
Mr Abhisit said Thailand has always been ready to hold bilateral negotiations with Cambodia and if Phnom Penh agrees to resume talks it would be considered a good sign as related bilateral issues could move ahead toward solution.
Thailand and Cambodia will discuss in detail the format of the talks, he said, adding that to invite anyone to witness the bilateral talks would not be a problem.
The premier said Indonesia, in its capacity as current chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and playing a facilitator’s role for the bilateral meeting would only acknowledge the meeting but would not involve the details of the discussion.
It would be considered beyond the framework of the JBC, which is in a bilateral talk format, if a third party joined the discussion, he said.
Mr Abhisit said that he hopes that the JBC could be a first step to ease tensions between Thailand and Cambodia.
Regarding the invitations by Thailand and Cambodia to Indonesia to send observers to their respective sides of the border, Thani Thongphakdi, Director-General of the Department of Information and Foreign Ministry spokesperson said earlier that Indonesia has sent the draft Terms of Reference of the observation mission to both Thailand and Cambodia.
He sad the Thai government, in principle, has no objection to the Indonesian proposal.
Nevertheless, Mr Thani said, Thailand and Cambodia would need to discuss details of the proposal's implementation in order to arrive at a mutually acceptable conclusion.
He added that It is hoped in this connection that the issue could be brought up at the next the General Border Committee (GBC) meeting chaired by the two defence ministers, to be convened as soon as the Cambodian side is ready. (MCOT online news)