A Change of Guard

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Monday, 9 August 2010

Thai PM reiterates 2000 MoU benefits Thailand

BANGKOK, Aug 8 (MCOT)- Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said Sunday that the 2000 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) contains benefits to Thailand as it prevents the Cambodian government from submitting its map to the UNESCO World Heritage Commission (WHC) because the border demarcation is not yet completed.

Speaking during his weekly TV and radio address, he emphasised the Thai government understanding of the apparent impasse while the commission acknowledges that Cambodia is still unable to submit its map.

Once the border demarcation process is completed, the Thai government must review and accept it before reporting to Parliament, he said.

According to the agreement between Thailand and Cambodia on the survey and land boundary demarcation signed in June 2000, both parties agreed not to carry out any changes in the environment of the frontier zone, pending completion of the survey and border demarcation.

Regarding reports that Cambodian soldiers and villagers have occupied the disputed area near Preah Vihear temple, Mr Abhisit said both diplomatic and military methods have been used in resolving the problem as Thailand tries to avoid armed clashes.

“Our objectives are to prevent violation of [Thai] sovereignty and also be good neighbor with Cambodia as it would bestow benefits to both countries,” he said.

He later discussed the issue with four representatives of the newly-formed ‘Thailand Patriot Network’ and civil society groups including the yellow-clad People’s Alliance for Democracy.

Also, four senior government officials, led by Mr Abhisit, participated in the talks focusing on the ancient temple and its adjoining disputed area.

Broadcast live on state-owned NBT television, the discussion was intended to clarify the 10-year-old 2000 MoU to the activist groups who began rallying in the capital on Saturday. (MCOT online news)

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