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Sunday, March 06, 2011

Cambodia waiting for Thai parliament's endorsement before next boundary talks

Phnom Penh will wait until Thailand's parliament ratifies the previous memos of Joint- Boundary Commission (JBC) meetings before it will accept Bangkok' s proposal on the next JBC meeting, Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman said Saturday.

Thailand has proposed to hold the next JBC on March 7-8 with its neighboring Cambodia in order to discuss border demarcation.

The issue so far has not yet been submitted for approval of Thai parliament; therefore, it is uncertain the next JBC would be held in Indonesia during March 7-8, Thani Thongpakdi, FM spokesman said.

The Article190 of Thailand's 2007 Constitution regulates that any treaty to be signed with other foreign countries and may bring about territorial changes requires parliament's ratification before it will be implemented.

The spokesman insisted that the meeting would be carried out bilaterally not multilaterally as Cambodian preferred. There might be the third country to facilitate talks but only Thailand and Cambodia would be at negotiating table, he added.

The two neighboring countries share a common border approximately 800 kilometers (500 miles) long but demarcation has never been fully completed. The 11th-century Preah Vihear temple has been the subject of age-old border dispute for decades. Although the International Court of Justice awarded the Hindu temple to Cambodia in 1962, the dispute over area adjacent to the temple has never been solved.

Listing of the temple to Unesco's World Heritage Site in 2008 fueled tensions between the two countries, resulting in military build-up with sporadic skirmishes. The latest deadly clashes on Feb 4-7, when both countries exchanged small arms firing and shelling, caused loss of lives of civilian population and soldiers on both sides as well as massive evacuation of residents along the border.

Source: Xinhua.

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