A Change of Guard

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Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Thai [Thai] Defence Minister to visit Cambodia late next month

BANGKOK, Aug 30 (MCOT)-- Thai Defence Minister Gen Yuthasak Sasiprapa said on Tuesday he is scheduled to visit Cambodia in late September to hold unofficial talks with his Cambodian counterpart on the International Court of Justice's order in preparation for the Thai Cambodian General Border Committee (GBC) meeting, according to Defence Ministry spokesman Col Thanathip Sawangsaeng.

Col Thanathip said that Gen Yuthasak would invite Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to chair a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) within two weeks to be briefed on the guidelines for the GBC meeting to be brought to cabinet and Parliament for approval to authorise the defence minister to hold talks with Cambodia.

The defence spokesman said that Gen Yuthasak would visit Phnom Penh late next month to hold unofficial talks with his Cambodian counterpart Gen Tea Banh who co-chairs the GBC. The discussion is expected to focus on troop redeployment and international observers, he said.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on July 18 ordered Thailand and Cambodia to withdraw their troops from the newly defined demilitarised zone in a disputed portion of their border around the ancient Preah Vihear temple while urging both countries to work with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to reach an agreement to allow the regional bloc's observers to enter the disputed zone.

Col Thanathip said that at the GBC meeting, both sides could clarify forces to replace the soldiers around the Preah Vihear Temple in accordance with the World Court order.

Gen Yuthasak will pay a courtesy call on Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen during his visit, the ministry spokesman said.

Meanwhile, Gen Yuthasak said the Cambodian Defence Ministry invited him twice to visit the country and he personally believed that the visit would be a good opportunity to familiarise himself and have unofficial talks as a prelude to make the GBC meeting run smoothly.

He said the recent Thai-Cambodian Regional Border Committee (RBC) meeting in Nakhon Ratchasima produced fruitful results but Thailand needed acknowledgment and authorisation from the government and Parliament before pursuing what both sides had agreed during the regional border meeting at the higher level border meeting. (MCOT online news)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thailand did learn some bitter taste from Cambodia during the clash...Its good to let Thailand knew that Cambodia is not easy to intimidated..