PHNOM PENH, July 27 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia is willing to speed up talks with Thailand on the plan for the joint development of overlapping maritime claims in the Gulf of Thailand, a Cambodian senior official said Friday.
Speaking briefly to reporters after a meeting with visiting Thai delegation led by Senator Suradet Jiratiticharoen, chairman of the Senate's Committee on Energy, Cambodia's deputy Prime Minister Sok An, chairman of Cambodian National Petroleum Authority, said that Cambodia wanted to accelerate negotiations with Thailand towards the joint exploration and exploitation of oil and gas in the overlapping area.
"I told the Thai delegation our stance for the Overlapping Claim Area (OCA) and we hope to find a formula that is acceptable to both sides in order to jointly exploit oil and gas from the area," he said.
Cambodia and Thailand have the Overlapping Claim Area (OCA) in sea, covering 27,000 square kilometers and the area is believed to be rich in oil and gas deposits.
The two countries entered into a Memorandum of Understanding ( MoU) regarding the area of their overlapping maritime claims to the continental shelf in June 2001, setting out an agreed area to be delimited and an agreed joint development area (JDA).
Since then, the two countries had subsequently held constructive discussions and negotiations until 2007 with extremely fruitful result. However, the official talk on the issue between the two countries was in limbo during the former Thai government under Abhisit Vejjajiva's administration.
"Now, it has been more than 10 years in negotiations, but no agreement has been reached yet," Sok An said.