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PM urges Abhisit to confirm border meet

PM urges Abhisit to confirm border meet

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday urged his Thai counterpart Abhisit Vejjajiva to confirm participation in meetings of the General Border Committee and Joint Border Committee scheduled for March 24-25 in Bogor, Indonesia.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony for a new school in Battambang province, Hun Sen urged Abhisit to accept the invitation of Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa for brokered talks about the two country’s border conflict, which left at least 10 dead and dozens wounded on both sides, as well as the placement of Indonesian military observers along the border to ensure the preservation of a fragile ceasefire.

“I would like to appeal to Abhisit Vejjajiva, prime minister of Thailand, to please respond as soon as possible, whether he will attend the joint meetings or not, and whether he will allow the observers to come or not,” he said.

“Please, Your Excellency, respond ugently because these are issues for the UN Security Council and ASEAN.”

Hun Sen added that the terms of reference previously agreed to for the presence of border military observers have slightly changed.

Cambodia had previously requested a 12-month presence for the observers but has now asked for nine months, as Indonesia’s mandate for chairmanship of ASEAN will expire at that time.

He added that an extension could be considered when the chairmanship next year falls to Cambodia.

Cambodia and Thailand agreed on February 22 to accept unarmed Indonesian military observers to monitor their shared border to ensure a permanent ceasefire, though monitors have yet to be deployed.

Abhisit said earlier this week that he hoped the meetings in Indonesia would be a starting point for easing tensions along the border between the two countries, according to a report in the Bangkok Post.

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