BANGKOK, Oct 3 -- Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said he would confer with his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen on the two countries’ border problem on the sidelines of the 8th Asia-Europe Meeting being held in Belgium this week.
It is possible that more talks on the issue, especially on actions of concerned government units of each country, will be discussed after the informal talks of the two leaders in New York late last month, Mr Abhisit said.
Some projects such as those involving education and cultural exchanges between the two countries have made considerable progress, he said.
The border problem with soldiers of both countries facing each other on the border may be discussed further, Mr Abhisit said.
Asked whether he would ask Mr Hun Sen for a troop withdrawal to ease tensions when they meet at the upcoming meeting, Mr Abhisit said the Cambodian government fully realises that existing bilateral mechanisms agreed by the two countries must be approved by the Thai parliament.
Thailand and Cambodia signed a memorandum of understanding in 2000 to establish a Joint Boundary Commission to demarcate overlapping parts of their boundary, but the framework for border demarcation has not been approved by the Thai parliament as required by the constitution.
The two neighbouring nations have been locked in a military standoff on their disputed border since July 2008, when the historic Preah Vihear temple was granted UNESCO World Heritage status.
The International Court of Justice ruled in 1962 that the temple belonged to Cambodia, although its main entrance lies in Thailand. The exact boundary through the surrounding grounds remains in dispute, with occasional full-scale military skirmishes claiming a number of lives.
Realising that the border problem has been continuing too long, Mr Abhisit said “there are several problems which hinder a final agreement as processes must be approved by each country.” (MCOT online news)