by Zhang Qiulai
BANGKOK, July 21 (Xinhua) -- The special meeting of
the Thai-Cambodian General Border Committee (GBC) concluded Monday evening with
both Thailand and Cambodia agreed not to use force to settle their dispute over
the borderline near Preah Vihear Temple.
The meeting started Monday morning in Thailand's
eastern border province of Sa Kaew was called as the military stand off near
Preah Vihear Temple reached the six days. Both countries deployed troops and
weapons to a plot of 4.6 square kilometer near the temple. The Thai side claimed
that the areas are overlapping zones while Cambodia claimed it is in its
Cambodian military police patrol Preah
Vihear temple, 245 km (152 miles) north of Phnom Penh, July 21,
2008. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
Thai Supreme Commander Gen Boonsang Niempradit and
Cambodia's Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Gen Tea Banh who chaired
the special meeting emerged at a press conference after nearly eight hours of
But, the meeting failed to reach any breakthrough,
according to local newspaper the Nation's website.
Boonsrang was quoted as saying that the two sides
were unable to solve the legal issues involved in the controversy over the
temple' s compound, parts of which are claimed by both Thailand and Cambodia.
Cambodian Buddhist monks take a photo
with an old gun at Preah Vihear temple, 245 km (152 miles) north of Phnom
Penh, July 21, 2008. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
"We will need to consult the government on the law,"
Boonsrang told a press conference after the lengthy meeting.
Both countries will remain the number of their troops
and weapons there and will order their troops not to use forces in the area, he
Both Boonsang and Tea Banh cited legislation and
legal technicalities as obstacles in reaching any agreement on the issue.
Tea Banh told reporters that both sides tried to
lower down the degree of tension during the meeting but failed due to the
legislation and legal technicalities.
Tea Banh and Boonsrang said they will forward the
outcome of the meeting to their prime ministers for consideration.
Earlier, Boonsang said before the meeting that he
could not yet say whether the Thai troops stationed near Preah Vihear will be
withdrawn as requested by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen last week in a
diplomatic note sent to his Thai counterpart.
"It is better to wait for the outcome of the meeting
first," Boonsang said, noting that the Thai military will not employ violence to
solve this problem.
He later told local media that "Thailand would offer
reasonable proposals to the Cambodian side to consider in order to reduce
"It is expected that the Cambodian side would agree
to the proposals," he said, expressing hope that his negotiations would be
conducted within the good relations existing between Thailand and Cambodia.
"Also, the talks are expected to become a vital
mechanism in solving the border problem at Thailand's Si Sa Ket Province and at
Preah Vihear Province of Cambodia," Boonsang said.
The military standoff between Cambodia and Thailand
entered its seventh day on Monday. Both countries historically laid claim to the
11th century temple, which now sits on Cambodian soil following the action of
the International Court of Justice which awarded the ancient temple to Cambodia
in 1962. However, the temple can practicably only be accessed from Thailand.
However, the exact demarcation of the border around
the ruins remains in contention.
The security situation around the temple deteriorated
after three Thais, including a Buddhist monk, were briefly detained by Cambodian
soldiers after crossing into the disputed border area on Tuesday. The trio were
released the same day but refused to leave the 4.6 square kilometer disputed
area adjoining the temple complex.
Thailand first issued a warning that travel to the
vicinity of the temple be avoided, but later closed off access altogether within
10 kilometers of the temple.
Cambodia turns down Thai request to
review border lines
PHNOM PENH, July 21 (Xinhua) -- The Cambodian side Monday
turned down the Thai side's request to review the border lines, during the
meeting of the General Border Committee (GBC) between both countries held in
Thai province of Sa Kaew, said a senior Cambodian official.
"We had good negotiation with the Thai side. We agreed
with each other on one point and another, but the Cambodian side didn't agree
the Thai side's request to review the border lines with us. We already had
border lines with the Thai side according to the treaties signed by France and
Thailand in 1904 and 1907. It was international border," said Cambodian Deputy
Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense Tea Banh at a press conference
held at the Poit Pet town of Cambodia near the border upon his arrival at
homeland. Full story