A Change of Guard

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Saturday, 29 November 2008

Hor Namhong: Political turmoils in Thailand could affect border talks

By Keo Nimol
Radio Free Asia
28th November, 2008
Translated from Khmer by Khmerization

Mr. Hor Namhong (pictured), Cambodia’s Deputy PM and Foreign Minister, said on 28th of November that the current political turmoils in Thailand could affect border talks and the demarcation works to be carried out in December.

Speaking on his arrival at the airport from the 5th Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam Summit, Mr. Hor Namhong said: “I can say that it is true that the complicated situations in Thailand could have a negative influence on the border talks between Cambodia and Thailand in order to resolve the border demarcations. You may remember that, in the recent meeting in Siem Reap we have narrowed our differences and have moved forward. In December both Cambodian and Thai Technical Team will go to survey the borders near Preah Vihear for the purpose of demarcating the borders and for de-mining. And in January there will be talks of the Khmer-Thai Joint Boundary Commission and the two foreign ministers, but due to the present political situation we don’t know if the Thai parliament can be convened or not.”

Mr. Hor Namhong said that the Thai laws require that all agreements regarding territorial matters must be approved by the parliament.

Mr. Hor Namhong said: “So the parliament cannot be convened. And according to article 190 of the Thai constitution, all the agreements regarding territorial matters must be approved by parliament. And after that, if there are any additional agreements, the matters must be returned for the approval of the parliament. So, it (the current political turmoil) definitely has a negative impact on the border talks.”

Mr. Hor Namhong said that at the moment no one knows how much the political situation in Thailand has improved.

Cambodia and Thailand started the border negotiations after Thai troops invaded the Preah Vihear areas on the 15th of July, 2008 which led to military confrontations and, in some areas, have led to border clashes between the Khmer-Thai armies. At the same time, numerous border talks have not led to any troop withdrawal that could return the situation to normalcy of the pre-15th July, 2008 status quo.

Those talks have sometimes met with obstacles because the Thai side has sometimes cancelled the meetings due to political turmoils in Thailand.//

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