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Cambodia's ministers support Thai plan

The Council of Ministers expressed support yesterday for Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s plan to ask the Thai parliament to decide whether it should comply with the International Court of Justice’s order to withdraw troops from the disputed border area near the Preah Vihear temple.

Phay Siphan, a council spokesman, called on Yingluck to comply with Thailand’s constitution and honour the ICJ’s ruling, saying her administration had already expressed the political will to remove its troops from the 17-square-kilometre provisional demilitarised zone near the temple, which Cambodia did last month.

“In principle, we take Thailand as a good friend, and there will be no winners or losers if we fail to implement the ICJ [ruling],” Siphan said, adding that Cambodia would continue to keep its troops out of the area unilaterally if need be.

Siphan’s comments came after the Bangkok Post reported yesterday that an unnamed official said the Yingluck administration would leave the question of troop withdrawal to parliament to avoid making an unpopular decision and alienating the Thai armed forces.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vong Sokheng at sokheng.vong@phnompenhpost.com

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