Cambodia says "no" to GBC meeting unless "package solution" complied

08:07, May 27, 2011      

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Cambodian Defense Ministry on Thursday evening rejected media reports that "Cambodia agrees to host General Border Committee (GBC) meeting with Thailand."

The rejection was made after Thai media reported that Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, Thai defense minister, said Thursday the Thai- Cambodian GBC meeting will be held in Cambodia after an Indonesian Survey Team arrives at the Thai-Cambodian disputed border near the Preah Vihear temple.

"Cambodia is now ready to hold 8th GBC meeting," the Bangkok Post online newspaper quoted Prawit as saying. "Gen. Tea Banh has already informed me that GBC will certainly be arranged in Cambodia."

"Cambodian defense ministry absolutely rejected this fabricated information by Thai Defense Minister Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan," said a Defense Ministry's statement on Thursday evening.

"This information is contradicted to the spirit of the package solution which Cambodian, Thai and Indonesia foreign ministers agreed on May 9 in Jakarta, Indonesia," it said.

The statement added that the package solution has already pointed out the procedures for the solution.

"So the first and indispensable implementation is: Thailand must respond positively to the package solution," it said. "It is absolutely unacceptable to act otherwise and inconsistent with the package solution."

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) awarded Preah Vihear temple to Cambodia in 1962 and the temple was enlisted as a World Heritage Site on July 7, 2008.

The border conflict between Cambodia and Thailand occurred just a week after the enlistment as Thailand claims the ownership of 4. 6 square kilometers (1.8 square miles) of scrub next to the temple.

Since then, both sides have built up military forces along the border and periodic clashes have happened, resulting in the deaths of troops and civilians on both sides.

The two sides agreed to accept Indonesian observers to monitor a ceasefire on their respective border side on Feb. 22 at the ASEAN foreign ministers meeting in Jakarta, but the deployment was always delayed because Thailand demanded that Cambodian soldiers and locals be withdrawn from the disputed area of 4.6 sq km near the temple first.

Source: Xinhua
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