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Indonesia to host border meeting

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa has arranged a meeting in Indonesia between Cambodia and Thailand later this month to discuss the ongoing border dispute near the 11th-century Preah Vihear temple with the countries’ bilateral border committees.

The meeting of the General Border Committee and Joint Border Committee will take place on March 24-25 in Bogor, following bloody clashes near Preah Vihear temple last month that left 10 people dead and dozens wounded.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Koy Kuong said that Minister of Foreign Affairs Hor Namhong today wrote an official letter to Indonesia confirming Cambodia’s participation.

“Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong agreed to the convening of the chairman of ASEAN and stressed that the chairman or his representative has to participate in the meeting or at least participate in the opening of the meeting,” said Koy Kuong.

“We don’t know about the Thai party, but Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong had been expressing his hope that Thailand will participate in the upcoming meeting of GBC and JBC.”

Koy Kuong added that following the meeting Cambodia and Thailand would make reports for submission to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Negotiations between Cambodia and Thailand have stalled since 2008, when Preah Vihear temple was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in Cambodia.

The International Court of Justice ruled in 1962 that Preah Vihear temple belonged to Cambodia and an adjacent area measuring  4.6 square kilometres has remained a flashpoint for military clashes between the regional neighbours.

Cambodia and Thailand agreed on February 22 to receive Indonesian observers to monitor the border area and ensure a permanent ceasefire, though monitors have yet to be deployed.




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