The government is proposing Thailand and Cambodia agree through their Joint Commission (JC) to adhere to peace before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) rules on their territorial dispute.
Prime Minister and Defence Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on her way to attend a meeting of security agencies to discuss Thailand’s proposed mechanism to deal with the International Court of Justice’s ruling over the Preah Vihear temple at the Defence Ministry yesterday. She is the chairwoman of the meeting. APICHART JINAKUL
The dispute relates to the ruins of the Preah Vihear temple situated on their border.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said the idea was raised yesterday at a meeting between Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, security authorities and the Foreign Ministry.
Mr Surapong said he would discuss the idea with his Cambodian counterpart Hor Namhong. "No matter how the international court rules, the meeting agreed that Thailand and Cambodia must have a discussion before a decision is reached through their JC chaired by the foreign ministers," he said.
"They will accept that no matter what the ruling is, bilateral relations will stay intact."
He hoped Hor Namhong would support the idea because, he said, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen had told Ms Yingluck that both sides will talk to prevent a conflict, and that citizens of both countries will have to co-exist.
"People can be assured there will not be a clash because Ms Yingluck and Hun Sen have good relations," Mr Surapong said.
"Please be confident that every government works for the national interest. I believe everything should be finalised after the ruling on Nov 11."
He said he hoped Thailand and Cambodia would jointly promote tourism in the area of the Preah Vihear temple.
Mr Surapong said military authorities proposed at the meeting that both Thailand and Cambodia should jointly plan their responses to all possible ICJ rulings.
A source at the Defence Ministry said Supreme Commander Gen Tanasak Patimapragorn and army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha told the meeting the armed forces would do their duty concerning the protection of Thai sovereignty, whilst adhering to laws and correct procedures.
They want Mr Surapong to tell Cambodia to control its soldiers properly. If Cambodian soldiers fire into Thai territory, Thai soldiers must retaliate, but they will not be the first party to shoot, the source quoted the security authorities as saying.
The source said Gen Prayuth also told the meeting he had ordered the 2nd Army to monitor the border situation.
Mr Surapong said participants at the meeting expected four possibilities from the ICJ's ruling. First, the court will rule it has no authority on the case and there is no reason for it to rule. Second, the court will rule in favour of Cambodia to base boundaries on a 1:200000 map.
Third, the court will rule in favour of a Thai cabinet resolution on the borderline reached in 1962. Fourth, the court will issue a neutral ruling and order talks.
Mr Surapong said Ms Yingluck has cancelled her trip to Ethiopia from Nov 8-10 to wait in Thailand for the ICJ's ruling.