Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Detente restored after Thai apology for artillery fire

Detente restored after Thai apology for artillery fire

Detente restored after Thai apology for artillery fire

090223_03.jpg
090223_03.jpg

Photo by:
HENG CHIVOAN

Thai army Deputy Commander-in-Chief Jeradej Kotcharat arrives in Phnom Penh. 

THE Foreign Ministry has said it would not file a formal complaint against Thailand to protest an incident last week in which several shells fired by Thai troops landed on Cambodian territory.

A Thai delegation arrived in Phnom Penh on Friday to apologise for the episode.

Koy Kuong, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told the Post Sunday that the retraction followed a successful meeting between the Thai delegation and Cambodian officials.

"The incident did not cause deaths amongst our people or damage to property," he said. "[Thailand] has shown it is taking responsibility."

In the incident Tuesday, at least eight mortar shells landed two kilometres inside Oddar Meanchey province in northwestern Cambodia. The shells were fired by Thai soldiers during a military training exercise near the disputed border between the two countries.   

That prompted a letter of apology on Thursday from Thai army commander-in-chief, General Anupong Paojinda, to General Meas Sophea, the deputy commander-in-chief and head of the army of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, according to a Foreign Ministry statement.

"I would like to reassure you that we will use all means to prevent such an incident from happening again in the future," the statement quotes General Anupong as saying.

After meeting the Thai delegation on Friday, Prime Minister Hun Sen urged his neighbour to investigate the matter, but, otherwise, assumed a conciliatory tone.

"Thailand asked to apologise for this unintentional incident and promised that it will not happen again," Hun Sen told reporters after meeting with Thai army Deputy Commander-in-Chief Jeradej Kotcharat.

Cambodian and Thai soldiers have been deployed along the border since mid-July last year after Preah Vihear temple was listed as a Unesco World Heritage site. Thailand has long contested that Preah Vihear temple belongs to Cambodia. Tensions ratcheted higher as last year drew to a close. In the most serious incident, armed clashes at Preah Vihear temple between both sides in mid-October caused the deaths of four soldiers.

Hun Sen will meet Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva this week for bilateral discussions about the border dispute while both attend the Asean Summit in Hua Hin, Thailand.

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • 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