Saturday, 7 May 2011

Cambodia: Our troops will not leave

via CAAI

Published: 6/05/2011 at 01:58 PM
Online news:

JAKARTA - Cambodia would not withdraw its troops from its own territory and was still waiting for Thailand's agreement on the Jakarta terms of reference (TOR) for the stationing of Indonesian observers near Preah Vihear, Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Nam Hong said on Friday.

He was speaking after emerging from 30-minute talks with the Asean chairman, Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, at the Jakarta Convention Centre.

Mr Hor Nam Hong said the problem with the border conflict clearly remained on the willingness of Thailand to agree with the deployment of Indonesian observers under the terms of reference.

"Cambodia has already sent a letter of acceptance to Indonesia's proposed TOR on May 2, and we hope will Thailand do likewise," said the Cambodian minister.

He thanked Mr Natalegawa on his efforts to address the border conflict and looked forward to seeing the deployment of observers.

Mr Natalegawa thanked Cambodia for the formal agreement to the terma of reference which Indonesia proposed at the special foreign ministers' meeting in Jakarta, right after the meeting at the United Nations in New York.

The UN General Assembly has tasked Indonesia will helping facilitate a solution to the border conflict between the regional partners of Asean, because Jakarta is the chairman this year. Cambodia is due to take up the rotating chairmanship next year.

Thailand has lobbied for a bilateral meeting during the 18th Asean summit, however, Cambodia was not interested in either meetings between foreign ministers or prime ministers, diplomatic sources said.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, in Bangkok, said before leaving for Jakarta that he has no plans to meet Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen during the Asean Summit to discuss the border dispute.

Hun Sen is also due to arrive today. Possibly, he would speak about the border dispute when the summit begins tomorrow, sources said.

Diplomatic sources said Phnom Penh was taking a beyond-Asean strategy, however, they wanted to show goodwill about possible options for a trilateral meeting on the sideline of the summit here, as a face-saver for Indonesia, which was embarrassed by the refusal of Thailand's military to attend last month's meeting in Jakarta.

Cambodia, sources said, was looking forward to the May 30-31 hearing at the International Court of Justice in the Hague on the Preah Vihear dispute.

The Asean chairman said before meeting with Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya at 12.30pm that he hoped a trilateral meeting could be held later today.

Cambodia has agreed with the three proposed locations -- Ta Sem, Chak Chreng and Pram Makara -- for the deployment of Indonesian observers on its side, while the Thai cabinet agreed on Wednesday to accept Indonesian observers on condition that there would be no foreign troops (including Cambodian troops) in the disputed territory.

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