Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday accused the government of kowtowing to Cambodia over the Preah Vihear territorial dispute.
He was commenting after the meeting on Monday between Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul and his Cambodian counterpart, Hor Namhong.
The meeting took place at Poipet in Cambodia's Banteay Meanchey province.
The pair discussed border cooperation and ways to prevent conflict ahead of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling on the Preah Vihear dispute on Nov 11.
Mr Abhisit said Mr Surapong had fawned over Cambodia. He urged the government to adopt a more level-headed approach and plan its moves on the Preah Vihear issue carefully.
Mr Abhisit said Cambodia is acting confidently, as if it has gained the upper hand over the issue, whereas Thailand is underscoring Cambodia's advantageous position, as if it is the underdog.
Mr Surapong yesterday briefed the cabinet on the talks. He stressed that Thailand has never accepted the ICJ's jurisdiction over the Preah Vihear issue since the court made its last ruling in 1962.
He said he will talk on the Yingluck Government Meets the People programme on Nov 9 to present more information on the issue to the public.
Hor Namhong said on Monday that the previous Thai government under Mr Abhisit had caused many problems between the two countries, forcing Cambodia to ask the ICJ to reinterpret its 1962 ruling.
That verdict awarded the temple to Cambodia but did not not rule on the surrounding land.
Permanent secretary for foreign affairs Sihasak Phuangketkaew said that while Thailand has not recognised the ICJ's jurisdiction, it was forced to legally defend its interests after Cambodia asked the court to clarify its ruling.
After becoming a member of the United Nations, Thailand announced on May 3, 1950, it would accept the ICJ's jurisdiction for 10 years.
Cambodia filed the Preah Vihear case against Thailand on Oct 6, 1959 _ one year before the 10-year period ended.
Although the government at the time did not agree with the ruling, it had to comply with the decision because Thailand was a UN member which, by default, made it a member of the ICJ, Mr Sihasak said. However, Thailand's ICJ membership is a separate issue to whether it accepts the court's jurisdiction, Mr Sihasak said.
He said he had to clarify this matter to prevent misunderstanding and to ensure transparency throughout the legal process.
The court's decision will be televised on Nov 11 on Channel 9 and Channel 11 from 4pm, he said.
Meanwhile, government spokesman Teerat Ratanasevi said the cabinet has approved an extension of opening hours at five border passes from 7am-8pm to 6am-10pm. The border passes are Ban Laem and Ban Phakkad in Chanthaburi's Pong Nam Ron district; Ban Had Lek in Khlong Yai district of Trat; Ban Khlong Luek in Sa Kaeo's Aranyaprathet district and Chong Chom in Surin's Kap Choeng district.
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