Fri, November 21, 2008
Lifestyle > Culture

Cambodia not to raise Preah Vihear issue at ASEAN Summit in Thailand

2008-11-21 01:53:15 GMT2008-11-21 09:53:15 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

PHNOM PENH, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia will not list its dispute with Thailand over the ownership of the 900-year-old Preah Vihear Temple into the agenda of the ASEAN Summit next month in Bangkok, Chinese-language newspaper the Commercial News said on Friday.

"The ongoing world financial crisis will top the agenda of the summit, and we will not raise the Preah Vihear issue there," Cambodian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hor Namhong was quoted as saying here on Thursday at a press conference.

Cambodia needs not to do that, because all ASEAN member countries and other nations friendly to Cambodia have said that they expect Cambodia and Thailand to solve their dispute through bilateral negotiations, he said.

According to the outcome of the recent meeting between the foreign ministers of the two Southeast Asian nations, the two sides will start to measure the border line and locate the existing border posts in December, and the Joint Border Committee and both foreign ministers will convene new meetings in January, said the Cambodian Foreign Minister.

Earlier this week, Phay Siphan, secretary of state of the Cambodian Council of Ministers said that Cambodia will not boycott the summit in Thailand, even as the two countries have border dispute.

An armed clash in October killed two Cambodian soldiers and wounded two others, after Thai troops entered the disputed border area over sovereignty claim.

There are now 73 demarcation posts along the 805-km border between Cambodia and Thailand, 50 percent of which are recognized by the Thai side. Cambodia still plans to plant hundreds more posts there in order to specify the border line.

In 1962, the International Court of Justice awarded the Preah Vihear Temple and its surrounding lands to Cambodia, but Thai nationalists have turned down the decision and used to stir up protests and demonstrations over its ownership.

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