Friday, 4 March 2011

Cambodian PM appeals ASEAN chair to send observers urgently to Cambodian border

via CAAI

March 03, 2011 

via CAAI

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday appeals to Indonesia to urgently send its observers to Cambodian border side if Thailand is still reluctant to accept.

"I appeal to Indonesia, if Thailand hesitates to receive observers, please, sends the observers urgently to Cambodian side at the disputed border areas next to Preah Vihear temple," Hun Sen said during the celebration of the 13th national cultural day at Chaktomuk Hall.

The premier said that ASEAN chair, Indonesia, on Saturday had sent Cambodia and Thailand the terms of reference including procedures of control and obligation of Indonesian observers at the disputed areas.

"We replied the Indonesia's request not later than 24 hours, and provided 14 points to Indonesia to observe, and we will open further if necessary," he said. "The observers will be for 12 months and will extend further."

"Up to now the Bangkok government said that its foreign minister and defense minister have not met each other on this issue, and its army chief said the observers will not be allowed to observe inside, just in limited areas," said Hun Sen.

"If Thai does not receive observers, Cambodia will receive alone," he said.

The premier reiterated that there will be no any negotiation with Thailand bilaterally on border disputed area.

"I confirmed that if you (Thai) want to negotiate, you have to ask Indonesia, the ASEAN chair, to convene the meeting. No negotiation with you bilaterally," said Hun Sen.

"We continue to negotiate with Thailand only in the cooperation of economics, trades, investment, tourism and so on, but the border disputed area, must be the participation of the third party, " he said.

Hun Sen also said that he has never expected that Thai leaders asked UNESCO to de-list Preah Vihear temple from the World Heritage List.

"I have never expected that Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejajjiva and Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya, dare to ask Koichiro Matsuura, the special envoy of UNESCO, to de-list Preah Vihear temple from the world heritage site," he said.

"At first I just thought they opposed only the temple's management plan, but the special envoy met me on Feb. 28, and told me Thai leaders ask UNESCO to de-list the temple."

Hun Sen said "414 shells of mortar and artillery fired by Thai troops which had fallen on the temple in the war on Feb.4-7. "

"This was is a real war. It was not only the war to invade Cambodian territory, but war to destroy culture," he said. "It was the worst disgraceful act by Thai government."

Preah Vihear Temple was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2008.

The conflict has occurred just a week after the inscription due to Thai claim of the ownership of 1.8 square miles (4.6 sq km) of scrub next to the temple, since then periodic clashes have happened between the two nations' troops, resulted in the deaths of troops on both sides.

Source: Xinhua

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