>Cambodia, Thailand to exert efforts to settle border row – Summary

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Singapore – Cambodia and Thailand assured the Association of the South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Sunday that they will exert their utmost efforts to settle a raging border row amicably. Foreign ministers from the two bickering countries told their counterparts from the 10-member regional grouping that they will “abide by their ASEAN and international obligations.”Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo said they urged Cambodia and Thailand to exercise utmost restraint while finding peaceful solutions to the row. “We urge both sides to exercise utmost restraint and resolve this issue amicably, in the spirit of ASEAN solidarity and good neighbourliness,” Yeo said after an informal dinner of ASEAN officials on the eve of annual ministerial meetings. “Recognizing the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the region the ASEAN foreign ministers also decided to offer facilities to be placed at the disposal of Cambodia and Thailand in the event that they felt the need for further support,” he said. Aside from Thailand and Cambodia, ASEAN includes Brunei, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam. Earlier in the day, Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda clarified that Cambodia did not seek the help of the United Nations in setting the row, but wrote a letter to inform the world body about the problem. The ASEAN foreign ministers expressed hope that a direct meeting between Cambodia and Thailand joint border committee on Monday will finally lead to the resolution to the problem. Nearly 1,000 Cambodian troops and 500 Thai soldiers continue to face each other on the disputed territory since the tension began a week ago.
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