THE Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement on Tuesday rejecting accusations from Bangkok that railings constructed near the Ta Krabey temple in Oddar Meanchey province were built in Thai territory.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Koy Kuong said the statement was prompted by a note sent last month by the Thai ministry of foreign affairs to the Cambodian embassy in Bangkok.
“They claimed that the temple of Ta Krabey and the surrounding area are in Thai territory,” Koy Kuong said Tuesday. “They accused us of building the railings in their territory.”
In a response to the Thai ministry of foreign affairs dated last Friday, the Cambodian embassy in Bangkok said the railings in question had been constructed 500 metres away from Ta Krabey temple, well inside Cambodian territory.
They claimed that the temple of ta krabey ... [is] in thai territory.
The allegation that Cambodia had breached Thai sovereignty in the area was “baseless”, the embassy added.
Ministry of Defence spokesman Chhum Socheat said the railings had been constructed to help transport supplies up the steep hills in the area for
Cambodia troops patrolling the border.
“We built the cabin rails for transporting food, equipment and especially water to the soldiers patrolling at the top of the hill,” Chhum Socheat said, and added that the now-complete project began about five months ago.
A similar project in the Phnom Trop area, near Preah Vihear temple, drew Thai anger last year, Chhum Socheat said, though Cambodian officials stood firm on the issue.
Thai and Cambodian troops exchanged fire last month near Phnom Trop after, Cambodian troops say, a group of Thai soldiers got drunk and began firing recklessly into Cambodian territory.
Phnom Trop, along the contentious border between Cambodia and Thailand, also became a flashpoint in January, when commanders from both sides met to discuss troop movements in the disputed area. Troops stationed nearby exchanged fire briefly on January 24, four days after the meeting, though no one was hurt and a new round of negotiations followed.
Thai government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn referred questions to officials at the Thai ministry of foreign affairs, who could not be reached for comment.