Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Cambodia: Thai threat "tantamount to a declaration of war"

via CAAI

Apr 27, 2011

Phnom Penh - The Cambodian government on Wednesday condemned Bangkok's threat to use military action to force Cambodian troops from areas that Thailand considers in dispute.

Phom Penh 'considers the above decision of (the Thai) government as tantamount to a declaration of war against Cambodia,' Cambodian Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said.

On Tuesday, a Thai government spokesman said the cabinet had passed a three-part resolution that focused on military retaliation against claimed Cambodian incursions, diplomatic efforts to arrange bilateral talks, and reviewing all cooperation with Cambodia.

Koy Kuong said the part relating to military action was an unacceptable threat.

'(Cambodia) condemns in the strongest terms Thailand's threat and belligerent actions to use its larger and materially superior military might to take control over the Cambodian territory recognized by the International Court of Justice in its 1962 judgment,' he said.

That court ruling referred specifically to the 11th-century temple of Preah Vihear, the scene of fighting on Tuesday and sporadic clashes since mid-2008. Both countries also dispute other areas of their common border. The court awarded the temple to Cambodia, but did not rule on nearby areas.

Koy Kuong said Thailand's assessment of what constituted disputed areas was based on maps that Cambodia did not recognize.

Wednesday saw the sixth consecutive day of fighting at another disputed border location, which has left at least 14 dead and around 60 wounded on both sides.

Thailand earlier announced its defence minister had pulled out of planned ceasefire talks scheduled for Wednesday in Phnom Penh.