>Khmer and Thai foreign ministers met for border talks

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Sompong Amornvivat (L) shakes hand with Hor Namhong during border talks in Siem Reap on 12th November, 2008.

By Mayarith and Sav Yuth
12th November, 2008
Translated from Khmer by Khmerization

Khmer and Thai foreign ministers met today in Siem Reap to seek a peaceful resolution of the border issues between the two countries.

The meeting between Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong and Thai Foreign Minister Sompong Amornvivat was held after the conclusion of the meeting of the Joint Border Committee which made little progress. Both sides said they need more times and that any final decisions will have to made by top officials from both countries.

Radio Free Asia reporter, Mr. Sav Yuth, filed a report just before 7pm on the 12th of November that the meeting is still ongoing and that the results of the meeting have not been made public yet because not only that Thailand did not accept the maps from the internationally-recognised treaties, but Thailand also wanted Cambodia to change the name of the Preah Vihear temple by using the Thai name of Khao Phra Viharn.

Sav Yuth: Please note that until 7pm on the 12th of November, the meeting between the foreign ministers of Cambodia and Thailand has not been concluded yet and the results of the meeting have not been made public yet. But, according to some officials, the meeting has been dragged on for too long due to disagreements on some issues, such as Cambodia uses the word “Preah Vihear” to call the temple name, but Thailand wanted to use the Thai word of “Phra Viharn” instead.

The other disagreement was that Cambodia insisted on using the word “the Thai withdrawal”, while Thailand is insisting on using the word “troop redeployments”. The issue, which required more times, was the disagreement over the use of maps. The Cambodian side wanted to use the maps annexed to the Franco-Siamese Treaties of 1904-1907 and these maps were agreed in the Memorandum of Understanding of 2000 between the Cambodian and the Thai governments. But in today’s meeting, the Thai side wanted to use the Thai-Indochinese maps as the base for the negotiations. So, the meeting has not reached the agreements as yet. The meeting was scheduled to be finished at 5pm, but until 6pm there is no sign of it ending yet.

Mayarith: what was the response from the Cambodian side to the Thai position? Will there be any agreement for future bilateral talks if the Thai side still maintain these sorts of positions?

Sav Yuth: Up until now no Cambodian official has made any comments or reactions regarding the Thai positions as yet because both sides are still locked inside the meeting room. But some Cambodian officials have said that if Cambodia accepted the Thai-Indochinese maps proposed by Thailand, it means that Cambodia will lose a lot. So, the talks cannot proceed well. It means that there are obstacles ahead which require more times and many more future meetings.//

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One Response to >Khmer and Thai foreign ministers met for border talks

  1. Anonymous says:

    >Cambodia must be firm. Don’t ever agree to use Thai-Indochinese maps. The negotiations must be based on the 1904, 1907 maps which were signed by both Thailand and Cambodia. Thailand is very dishonest by insisting on the use of the maps unilaterally drawn by Thailand. It is not acceptable.

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