Thai, Cambodian PM expected to meet during ASEM meeting in Brussels

16:13, August 19, 2010      

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Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen are expected to meet when they attend the upcoming Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) early October in Brussels, the Nation online reported Thursday.

ASEAN Secretary General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, who was on transit to capital Jakarta, Indonesia, on Wednesday, expressed the hope that the two leaders would take the opportunity in Belgium's capital to discuss bilateral issues of mutual concerns.

Premier Abhisit and Hun Sen will join the other Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN leaders to meet their European counterparts in Brussels, where the EU headquarters is situated.

In a related development, Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban has reiterated here that Thailand wants only bilateral talks with Phnom Penh to settle the border conflict.

Surin's revelation came after his trip to capital Phnom Penh, Cambodia, early this week leading a Thai-Muslim delegation to visit Cambodian-Muslim community at the invitation of Hun Sen, the Thai News Agency (TNA) reported.

The ASEAN Secretary General also presided over a table-top exercise on pandemic management among the ASEAN members.

Cambodia and Thailand have been at loggerheads over the 11th- century Hindu Preah Vihear temple, which in 1962 was awarded to Cambodia by the International Court of Justice.

On July 29 the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee (WHC) decided to reschedule its discussion on Cambodia's management plan for the Preah Vihear temple to its 35th annual meeting in Bahrain in 2011.

The WHC decision of rescheduling its discussion on Cambodia's management plan for the Preah Vihear temple was made at the 34th WHC annual meeting in Brazil.

Thailand and Cambodia have historically laid claim to the site, which is located on a mountain top on the Thai-Cambodia border. The disputed area of 4.6 square kilometers has not been demarcated.

As the International Court of Justice ruled in 1962 that the Preah Vihear temple belonged to Cambodia, but the 11th-century Hindu temple can only be easily accessed from Thailand.

The Asia-Europe Meeting, which was initiated in 1996 when the ASEM leaders met in Thailand's capital Bangkok, is an informal trans-regional platform for dialogue and co-operation between the two regions.

Source: Xinhua


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