Saturday, 7 May 2011

Thailand Agrees on Deployment of Indonesian Observers at Border Area

via CAAI

Web Editor: Zhangjin

Thailand on Friday agreed on the deployment of Indonesian observers at its border with Cambodia, said Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa on the sidelines of the 18th ASEAN Summit.

"Thailand is very clear in stating that not only the discussion has been concluded but agreement has been achieved. Thailand is in full agreement with the terms of reference (TOR) for the assignment of Indonesian observers. There is no more negotiation for that," Marty told reporters after meeting with his Thai counterpart Kasit Piromya.

He said what remains now is the actual formalization of the agreement between the two sides and that the keyword is to create "conditions conducive" to the deployment of Indonesian observers.

However, he said, Thailand submitted a requirement for the withdrawal of Cambodian troops.

"I am sure Cambodia has its own view on that. Whether it is acceptable or not, from our perspective, we use the term ' conditions conducive' for the assignment of our Indonesian observer team," Marty said.

"We can proceed one step at a time as long as we have the necessary political will," he added.

Before meeting with the Thai foreign minister, Marty also talked with his Cambodian counterpart Hor Namhong over the issue. He said that on Saturday he will have further conversation with the two ministers on defining the "conditions conducive" to the assignment of observers.

Cambodia and Thailand invited Indonesia, the current rotating chair of ASEAN, to send observers to their respective border near Preah Vihear temple on Feb. 22 this year after the deadly clashes between the two sides on Feb. 4-7.

Indonesia agreed to send 15 observers to each border side in order to monitor a ceasefire, but since then the deployment has not been implemented as both sides did not agreed on the TOR.

The border between Thailand and Cambodia has never been completely demarcated. Cambodia's Preah Vihear temple was listed as a World Heritage Site on July 7, 2008. But Thailand claims the ownership of 4.6 square kilometers of scrub next to the temple. Just a week after the enlistment, border conflicts arose which has triggered military build-up along the border and caused deaths on both sides.

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