UPDATE: No conclusion form meeting as the standoff set to be continued

Nothing was concluded except the promise from both side that they will try to claim down that intense and will not use gun in any case.

But the standoff is to be continued.



Press conference after the meeting. Right, General Tea Banh from Cambodia and left, General Boonsrang Niumpradit from Thailand. Photo by Manager.co.th



Temple issue bogged
By The Nation, AFP
Published on July 22, 2008

Legal matters ‘need resolving’ as troops told to stay calm

Thailand and Cambodia yesterday failed to resolve a military stand-off at their border, due to legal constraints, the heads of the two countries’ delegations said following a lengthy meeting.

“We both have legal problems of which we have informed our seniors to discuss,” said Thai supreme commander General Boonsrang Niumpradit, who led the Thai delegation on behalf of premier Samak Sundaravej, who is also defence minister.

Boonsrang said both sides would report the problems to their respective governments.

Cambodian Deputy Premier and Defence Minister General Tea Banh, who led the Cambodian delegation, said both sides had agreed to ease tensions and avoid violence.

Delegates yesterday spent nearly eight hours in closed-door meetings in Aranyaprathet to try to resolve the military stand-off, which started several days ago as a result of a border dispute near the 11th-century Preah Vihear Temple.

Thousands of Thai and Cambodian troops are now stationed around a small Buddhist pagoda on the disputed land on a mountain slope leading to Preah Vihear.

Cambodia recently got approval from Unesco’s World Heritage Committee to list Preah Vihear as a World Heritage site, causing anger among nationalist Thais.

Both Boonsrang and General Tea Banh are chairmen of the Thai-Cambodian General Border Committee (GBC).

Tea Banh told a press conference yesterday that both sides had reached agreement on several points during the lengthy consultation, but there were legal constraints, so the GBC could not commence legally.

He said he wished the problem would soon end smoothly and was happy with results of the consultation.

Boonsrang said both sides had agreed troops would stay in their positions but that neither side would use force.

The Thai supreme commander said the consultation was productive, even though there was no practical solution as of yesterday.

Other senior Thai officials at the consultation session included Army chief General Anupong Paochinda and Foreign Affairs permanent secretary Virasakdi Futrakul.

Both countries have reportedly deployed about 4,000 troops to the disputed 4.6-square-kilometre plot of land near Preah Vihear.

The border spat coincided with the annual meeting of Asean foreign ministers in Singapore this week.

Cambodia also tried to use the Asean ministerial meeting as a mechanism to defuse the stand-off, but Thailand rejected the effort, saying the conflict should be approached bilaterally.

Singaporean Foreign Minister George Yeo urged Cambodia and Thailand to exercise the utmost restraint while finding a peaceful solution to the row.

“We urge both sides to resolve this issue amicably, in the spirit of Asean solidarity and good neighbourliness,” Yeo said prior to the Thai-Cambodian consultation.




Just shake hand and say good bye. Photo by Bangkokbiznews.

Thailand, Cambodia promises not to use force

The meeting of the General Border Commission concluded Monday with both Thailand and Cambodia promising not to use force to settle their dispute over the borderline near Preah Vihear.

But the two sides failed to reach any agreement to pull back their forces accumulated along the disputed borderline.

The Nation



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