'No rush' for Preah Vihear talks
- Published: 17/11/2012 at 04:07 PM
- Online news:
Thailand and Cambodia have agreed to maintain their improving relationship by putting on hold the Preah Vihear Temple border dispute, says Cambodia's defence minister.
Tea Banh made the comment after meeting Thai Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat on Friday night at the Asean Defence Ministers' Meeting Retreat in Siem Reap.
The two ministers discussed the border dispute near the ancient Khmer site, where troops have been in an uneasy standoff for five years, although tensions have eased since the Pheu Thai government took office.
Tea Banh told the Bangkok Post that both countries had agreed not to rush into resolving the issue as they wanted to strengthen their relationship and jointly promote development in other aspects.
The Thai-Cambodian Joint Boundary Committee would resume dialogue toward demarcation, according to Tea Bahn.
"There is no need to settle the issue now as peace is the priority," he said.
His comments confirm the agreement reached between Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Cambodian Premier Hun Sen on Oct 19. The two premiers said both Thai and Cambodian people would be allowed to live off the land in the area without fear of being driven out for the time being.
"We will let the villagers go on farming there," another source at the Siem Reap meeting quoted Gen Teah Bahn as saying.
"We will not expel them but will leave the task to the Joint Boundary Committee" which is overseen by the foreign ministries of the two countries. he added.
"In the future if the relations of both countries turn very good, we may consider exchanging these two areas, similar to a solution to a border dispute Cambodia made with Vietnam," Gen Teah Bahn was quoted as saying.
A joint working group between Thailand and Cambodia will meet from Dec 17-19 in Bangkok to discuss a mine-sweeping operation to improve safety in the area.
About the author
- Writer: Wassana Nanuam