The government has rebutted a second complaint reportedly made by Thailand about building work being carried out on the Thai-Cambodian border.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday released a letter sent to the Thai government rejecting claims by Bangkok that recent repair work at the Keo Sikha Kiri Svara pagoda near Preah Vihear temple was carried out on Thai territory.
Sent on Tuesday, the letter followed a day after the Foreign Ministry publicly released a similarly worded letter, also sent to the Thai government, denying claims by Thailand that a cable car near Ta Krabey temple in Oddar Meanchey province was being built on Thai soil.
“The Kingdom of Cambodia wishes to reiterate that the Keo Sikha Kiri Svara pagoda, which is located in the vicinity of the Temple of Preah Vihear, is clearly situated within the territory of Cambodia according to the Dangrek Map drawn by the Franco-Siamese Commission in 1908,” the government states in its latest letter.
“The recent repair work at the…pagoda was conducted entirely within the territory of Cambodia. Cambodia, therefore, totally rejects once again the baseless allegation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand.”
Cambodian Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said yesterday that the two letters were sent in response to two separate notes received by the Cambodian Embassy in Bangkok on April 9.
Mr Kuong declined to release a copy of the original notes sent by Thailand, saying that only the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs could make the documents public. A person who answered the phone at the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said no officials were working as it was a public holiday.
Mr Kuong said the border demarcation process with Thailand had stalled due to Thailand’s “unwillingness” to talk to Cambodia about border issues in good faith.
“We have tried to be patient…but the Thai side is not willing,” Mr Kuong said.