March 24, 2011
Deputy Prime Minister for security affairs Suthep Thaugsuban said on Thursday that he disagreed with a plan to allow presence of foreign troops in the disputed zone on the Thai-Cambodian border.
Suthep made the remarks after Army Chief General Prayut Chan- ocha mentioned that he did not want Indonesia or any third country to be involved in the Thai-Cambodian Joint Boundary Commission ( JBC) or General Border Committee (GBC) meetings.
Indonesia, the current chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), earlier this week proposed to hold JBC and military-led GBC on April 7 and 8.
The deputy prime minister said the presence of foreign troops at any spot in the overlapping zone should be allowed only with the co-presence of Thai and Cambodian troops, particularly where border demarcation remains unclear.
The deputy PM said the JBC meeting could not go forward because Thai parliament has not yet approved the minutes of three previous meetings.
He said the minutes would be proposed for the parliament's consideration on Friday so that the border-demarcation meeting would be able to continue.
The Article 190 of the 2007 Constitution reads that any agreement which will be made with foreign country and will have impact on the country's territory is required endorsement from the parliament.
As for the People's Alliance for the Democracy (PAD)'s plan to rally against the government's move to ratify those three minutes on Friday, Suthep said he was not very worried.
Thailand and Cambodia earlier agreed to allow Indonesian observers to monitor a ceasefire in a deadly border dispute between the two countries in February this year.
ASEAN foreign ministers said in a statement in Jakarta that they welcomed a commitment made by Thailand and Cambodia to avoid further armed clashes and urged both sides to resume bilateral negotiations as soon as possible.