Hor Namhong to Visit Troops in Preah Vihear to Explain UN Ruling

Minister of Foreign Affairs Hor Namhong will on Saturday visit Royal Cambodian Armed Forces troops stationed in the Preah Vihear temple territory to explain the interpretation of the recent U.N. court ruling on the area, a Foreign Ministry official said.

Kuy Kuong, spokesman for the ministry, said Thursday that the visit would take place Saturday morning, but no venue for the meeting had been decided.

“[Mr. Namhong] will be going there on Saturday, December 7 to chat with the soldiers and explain the meaning of the verdict by the The Hague court,” he said.

On November 11, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague ruled that Cambodia has sovereignty over the entire territory of the promontory of Preah Vihear, and ordered that Thailand was under an obligation to withdraw Thai military, police forces or other guards that were stationed in the territory, a decision Thailand accepted.

But the ruling, which the government interpreted as “an incomplete victory,” is complicated by the fact that the ICJ did not give Cambodia everything it had asked for, including upholding the 1962 verdict that effectively set the official Thai-Cambodian border in the area in Cambodia’s favor, based on a French colonial-era map.

The decision leaves undecided Thailand’s claims to 4.6 square km south of the border on the French map, but authorities on both sides of the border have said they anticipate no rise in political tension over the issue.

Major General Srey Doek said that he and his soldiers welcome the foreign minister’s visit.

“Usually he comes to visit the soldiers once every two or three months, and we will listen to his advice,” he said.

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