Thai-Cambodia border conflict

Excerpts from the speech made by Samdech Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia at the 18th ASEAN Summit, May 2011

Cambodia has exerted its efforts to seek for a peaceful settlement of this border dispute based on the principles of international law and in accordance with the spirit of the ASEAN Charter and treaties as well as other related agreements. In this context, Cambodia highly appreciates the efforts made by Indonesia…I urge ASEAN leaders to provide support and put forth necessary measures in order to make all parties concerned cooperate and accept the observers from Indonesia, acting as ASEAN chair in order to dispatch them immediately to the border area to monitor the ceasefire agreed to at the ASEAN foreign ministers meeting in February 2011 and according to the mandate of the United Nations Security Council. ASEAN prestige and credibility will be at high risk if the efforts to establish a permanent ceasefire will not be materialized as planned.

Excerpts from the remarks made by DPM General Tea Banh at the 5th ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting  (ADMM) in Jakarta in May 2011

Looking at the current border conflict between Cambodia and Thailand, it is a call for the implementation of Preventive Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution Mechanism in our region. Cambodia stands firm on the principles of international law, ASEAN Charter, and Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) in solving the conflict between Cambodia and Thailand. Cambodia-Thailand border conflict is threatening regional security; thus it requires regional response.

Recent developments revealed that Thailand have used their military superiority to coerce Cambodia to accept Thailand’s unilateral map. This is contrary to Cambodia’s position who always consistently and unequivocally supports peaceful resolution of conflict based on the principles of international law and the ASEAN Charter. Within this context, Cambodia have quickly accepted and agreed on all of the TORs with regards to the Indonesian observers and the “Package solution” related to the deployment of Indonesia observers, which has been approved in various meetings during the recent ASEAN Summit in Jakarta.

At the same time, after the bilateral mechanisms is no longer effective in finding a peaceful solution with regards to the area around Preah Vihear temple, Cambodia has submitted the case for the International Court of Justice to interpret the 1962 Judgment on the Preah Vihear temple.

Cambodia highly appreciates and welcomes the role and initiative of Indonesia as a Chair of ASEAN in mediating the conflict between Cambodia and Thailand. The sending of observers and the resumption of General Border Commission and Joint Border Committee Meetings with the participation of Indonesia will definitely contribute to a permanent and complete ceasefire between Cambodia and Thailand. The ceasefire needs to be permanent and sustainable. Without the presence of third party observers, the risk of armed clashes is very high since no one takes responsible for shooting or firing first but instead accused others for firing first. The presence of observers will contribute to building an environment favorable to the peaceful settlement of the dispute.

Cambodia reaffirms that bilateral and multilateral dialogues and negotiations between Cambodia and Thailand are open and applied as long as any of them can solve the dispute peacefully. For the Preah Vihear Temple Area, we stick to multilateral framework mediated by Indonesia as Chair of ASEAN, mandated by the United Nations Security Council. For other conflict zones, we use bilateral mechanism at all levels to settle the conflict. But if in case the conflict is escalating then multilateral framework will be used.

As the nature of the border conflict requires also the legal approaches, Cambodia has submitted the case to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to clarify its judgment of 1962 which rules that Preah Vihear temple and its surrounding areas belong to Cambodia together with the annexed maps prepared by the French-Siamese Mixed Commission for Boundary in 1904 and 1907. Now the case is in the hand of the ICJ.

 

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