“I have full confidence that the meeting of the Cambodian-Thai Joint Border Commission (JBC) in early Oct. 2008, followed by the next meeting of the two foreign ministers, will bring about a peaceful settlement to the border issues not only in Preah Vihear Temple area, but also the entire border region between Cambodia and Thailand,” he said in the letter issued here Friday to media organizations by the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
“I sincerely hope that the second meeting between the head of the Cambodian Contemporary Coordinating Task Force and the head of the Thai Regional Border Committee on Aug. 29, 2008, as agreed during the second foreign ministers’ meeting in Hua Hin province of Thailand on Aug. 18-19, will result in removal of all the remaining troops at the areas around the Preah Vihear Temple and cessation of all military build-up in other border areas,” he said.
“I am extremely pleased that you share my views that our two countries can resolve this issue in a peaceful and amicable manner, as we continue to cherish our long lasting friendship and good neighborliness,” he added.
During the meeting on Aug. 18-19, Cambodian and Thai foreign ministers agreed to arrange a second-phase troop redeployment at the disputed border area near the Preah Vihear Temple in the eponymous province of Cambodia.
Both sides will convene a meeting between the Head of the Cambodian Temporary Coordinating Task Force and the Head of the Thai Regional Border Committee on Aug. 29 in Cambodia to discuss the second-phase of redeployment.
The two foreign ministers also agreed to recommend to their governments that the next meeting of legal experts and the Thai-Cambodian JBC be convened in early Oct. 2008 to discuss the issues related to the survey and demarcation of the relevant sectors under the term of reference and master plan of the JBC.
On July 15, Thai troops went into the border area to fetch three trespassers who had intended to claim Thai sovereignty over the Preah Vihear Temple. However, the troops stationed there ever since, thus triggering the military standoff and propelling both sides’ military personnel to grow over a thousand in the border areas.
During the time, Thai troops respectively entered the Keo SikhaKiri Svara Pagoda, which is constructed on the only way leading to the Preah Vihear Temple, as well as the Tamone Toch and Tamone Thom temples in neighboring Otdar Meanchey province of Cambodia.
On Aug. 16, most of the troops at the Keo Sikha Kiri Svara Pagoda and within the surrounding area of the Preah Vihear Temple were evacuated according to both sides’ agreement.
The Preah Vihear Temple straddles the Cambodian-Thai border atop the Dangrek Mountain and was listed as a World Heritage Site on July 7 by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee.
In 1962, the International Court of Justice decided that the 11-century temple and the land around belong to Cambodia, which rankled the Thais and has led to continuous disputes.
|Editor: Bi Mingxin|