Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia warns of war after border talks

Cambodia warns of war after border talks

Cambodia warns of war after border talks


Thailand given ultimatum to remove its troops from the Kingdom's

territory or risk sparking a 'full-scale armed conflict', PM says


Thai Foreign Minister Sompong Amornvivat arrives in Cambodia Monday morning for border talks with his Cambodian counterpart Hor Namhong. Negotiations, however, failed to produce any results.

THE presence of Thai troops in Cambodia will trigger "full-scale armed conflict", Prime Minister Hun Sen warned Monday after the two sides failed to resolve a dispute over territory on their shared border.

Speaking to reporters after meeting with Thai Foreign Minister Sompong Amornvivat, Hun Sen said that Thailand must withdraw its soldiers within 24 hours.

"I told the Thai foreign minister that this place (Veal Antri) is a battlezone. We will not allow Thai troops to stay there," he said.

"If they cannot withdraw tonight, they must withdraw [on Tuesday]," Hun Sen said, adding that since neither side will back down from their claim over the disputed land, the issue should be brought before the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands.

The fiery language came 10 days after a brief shootout near Preah Vihear temple wounded one Cambodian and two Thai soldiers, escalating a military standoff that has dragged on since July, when Thai troops first entered the Preah Vihear complex.

Hun Sen on Monday said that more than 80 Thai soldiers have been camping near Cambodian positions in Veal Antri, the scene of the October 3 firefight.

Earlier in the day, Foreign Minister Hor Namhong met with Sompong but said their talks failed to push negotiations over the border forward.

"I understand there are difficulties in Thailand but we should not prolong the issue," he said, referring to political unrest that has crippled Bangkok and will likely drag out the border issue.

"We have to resolve the border issue within an appropriate timeframe," Hor Namhong said. "If the border issue cannot be resolved bilaterally, we will take the case to the international court."

Hor Namhong repeated the premier's tough stance, telling reporters that he "informed Sompong and his general to immediately stop their troops from entering Cambodian territory".

"If they keep moving into Cambodian territory, it will absolutely cause complete armed conflict," he said. "To defend Cambodian sovereignty and territorial integrity, we will take all necessary measures."

The Thai foreign minister's one-day official visit to Cambodia also included a meeting with King Norodom Sihamoni.

Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat cancelled a planned visit citing turmoil in Bangkok.



  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all