Thai defense minister: boundary meeting to be held after survey team dispatched

17:45, May 26, 2011      

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Thailand's Defense Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan affirmed on Thursday that the General Boundary Committee (GBC) meeting would take place but after a survey team was dispatched.

Gen Prawit and his Cambodian counterpart Gen Tea Banh agreed at the 5th ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM) in Jakarta last week to send a survey team comprising three members from each country -- Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia -- in order to explore border areas.

The minister also reaffirmed that the survey team would not enter into disputed area of 4.6 square-kilometer land plot adjacent to the contentious Phra Vihear Temple.

"Cambodia is now ready to hold 8th GBC meeting. But Indonesia has to first propose agreement on sending that survey team.

"Gen Tea Babh has already informed me that GBC will certainly be arranged in Cambodia," Gen Prawit said.

The unarmed survey team would take about 1-2 days in their mission. The team had nothing to do with any existing agreements or Terms of Reference (ToR), the guideline for deploying Indonesian observers to station along the border.

Following a deadly cross-border fighting from Feb. 4 to 7, Thai, Cambodian and Indonesian foreign ministers attended the UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting in New York on Feb. 14 to discuss the conflicts. UNSC meeting urged Thailand and Cambodia to establish "permanent ceasefire" and asked Indonesia to facilitate the talks.

As a result, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) informal ministerial meeting on Feb. 22 resolved that Thailand and Cambodia should hold talks and Indonesia offered to deploy observer team along the border to implement permanent truce. However, assignment of Indonesian observers has not yet been realized as the ToR and some agreements have not been finalized.

Source: Xinhua
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