siem reap town – The Thai-Cambodian Joint Border Commission agreed Monday to set up demarcation posts in the disputed border area near Preah Vihear temple, officials said, though no firm date has been set as to when the process will begin.
The border commission in Siem Reap on Monday was holding its first meeting since a military standoff around the temple between Thai and Cambodian forces started July 15.
“We made progress on the technical discussion of the issues of joint mine clearance and setting the demarcation posts,” Var Kimhong, chairman of the commission’s Cambodian side, told reporters after the meeting. He was referring to an agreement made July 28 between the two governments to jointly demine the border zone to facilitate the JBC’s work.
The commission also agreed to finalize technical paperwork on more than 50 border demarcation pillars the Thai and Cambodian delegations have already agreed on since they started discussing in 2006, Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said.
Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong and his Thai counterpart Sompong Amornvivat will now sign off on these pillars when they meet Wednesday in Siem Reap town, he added after the meeting.
JBC officials might visit the disputed area in about one month, Phay Siphan said, though he added that details of the demarcation process, including a precise date for the work to start around the temple, would be on the agenda today.
“They’ll go down there to verify where the border pillars are supposed to be according to delimitations from the map,” Phay Siphan said, though he declined to say what map the JBC would be using.
The Cambodian government has so far been using the same 1908 map that the International Court of Justice used in its 1962 decision to award the Preah Vihear temple to Cambodia. A document Phay Siphan handed to reporters at the meeting recounts the history of that map and the several instances Cambodia claims Thailand agreed to it. Thai government officials have stated they do not recognize the 1908 map.
The Thai JBC co-chairman, Vasin Teeravechyan, left immediately after the meeting and declined to speak to reporters.