Post-ruling Preah Vihear talks planned

Thailand is preparing to set up official talks with Cambodia once the International Court of Justice (ICJ) rules on the Preah Vihear Temple case in early 2014.

Veerachai Plasai, Thai ambassador to The Hague, said officials from the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the Office of the Attorney-General, the Judge Advocate General's Department, the Office of the Council of State, the National Security Council (NSC) and the Defence Ministry's Royal Thai Survey Department had met to discuss the issue.

Mr Veerachai said the meeting considered ways that the court could rule on the Preah Vihear temple case to prepare for any eventuality. He said there were broadly four potential outcomes - the ruling could go in favour of Thailand, in favour of Cambodia, the court might say it has no authority to consider the case, or it could rule not to take sides.

Whatever happens, he said the two countries would work together to come to an agreement.

“The Thai side has agreed to establish a mechanism to prepare for a discussion with Cambodia. The two nations have agreed that no matter how the ICJ rules, they will cooperate with each other and will not let the ruling affect the relationship between the two countries,’’ said Mr Veerachai.

Two years ago, Cambodia requested that the ICJ translate its 1960 ruling about the areas surrounding the Preah Vihear temple.

Bangkok and Phnom Penh officials attended oral ICJ hearings in April after the two countries sent papers to the court defending their positions.

Mr Veerachai said plans for any inter-country talks will be proposed to the NSC before being tabled with Cambodia. The Foreign Ministry will continue working with the public to foster understanding of the issue.

He said the situation along the Thai-Cambodian border is now stable and no additional security is needed there.

Foreign Ministry's Permanent Secretary Sihasak Phuangketkaew said the court ruling is likely to be postponed to next year, after January, due to the ICJ’s workload.

Nutthavudh Photisaro, Foreign Ministry Deputy Permanent Secretary, said the ministry has made a video and documentary on the issue, which might be broadcast late this year or early next year.

The ministry has held seminars on the Preah Vihear temple case over the past few months in provinces such as Ubon Ratchathani, Si Sa Ket and Surin. 

Related search: Thailand, Cambodia, International Court of Justice, Preah Vihear Temple

About the author

columnist
Writer: Thanida Tansubhapol
Position: Reporter