Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia still wants Indonesian observers

Cambodia still wants Indonesian observers

Cambodia still wants Indonesian observers

110817_5b
Royal Cambodian Armed Forces prepare for their withdrawal from the Thai border in Preah Vihear province last week.

Cambocian officials yesterday reiterated their desire to see unarmed Indonesian observers dispatched to a demilitarised zone surrounding Preah Vihear temple, countering comments reportedly made by the new Thai Defence Minister.

Thai Defence Minister Yutthasak Sasiprapa said yesterday that sending Indonesian observers may not be necessary if Cambodia and Thailand could resolve the issue bilaterally, the Bangkok Post reported.

Yutthasak also reportedly said that the idea had been introduced by Cambodia.

Pending an agreement, the two countries would notify the International Court of Justice that the observers were no longer needed.

The ICJ, the highest court of the United Nations, ordered both countries on July 18 to “immediately withdraw” all military forces from a newly-created demilitarised zone around Preah Vihear temple and allow Indonesian observers to monitor a ceasefire in the area.

Koy Kuong, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said yesterday that both countries had to comply with the ruling. “Our position is that the two countries, Cambodia and Thailand, have to obey the ICJ’s ruling, and it is necessary to have the presence of Indonesian observers deployed for monitoring the withdrawal of troops,” he said.

Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith said he could not confirm the alleged Cambodian proposal regarding the observers.

“Prime Minister Hun Sen has never talked about the role of the Indonesian observers as being unnecessary,” he said.

Yutthasak has also reportedly said that Cambodian Defence Minister Tea Banh has invited him to meet through the General Border Committee in Phnom Penh. Tea Banh could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Foreign Minister Hor Namhong has also invited his counterpart to meet, though Koy Kuong said no dates had been set yet.

Bilateral talks on troop withdrawals from the demilitarised zone are expected to take place on August 24 and 25 via a new Regional Border Committee. Yutthasak said that meeting would pave the way for the GBC meeting and eventual troop withdrawals.

MOST VIEWED

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh