Hun Sen Pushes Thailand to OK Border Documents

Prime Minister Hun Sen urged his Thai counterpart Abhisit Vej­jajiva to push the Thai Parliament to ratify border-related documents during their talks in Brussels on Monday, Foreign Minister Hor Nam­hong said yesterday.

Cambodian officials had previously said this week that they were unaware of what was discussed during the two leaders’ meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe talks.

After arriving back in Phnom Penh with Mr Hun Sen yesterday, Mr Namhong told reporters that the premier and Mr Abhisit had continued on from where they left off at a meeting in New York last month.

“Samdech Techo Hun Sen met with Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vej­jajiva and continued their discussion…to make both countries’ relations better, and to avoid armed conflict along the border,” Mr Namhong said.

Mr Namhong said Mr Hun Sen had asked Mr Abhisit to push the Thai Parliament to ratify the agreement reached at bilateral foreign ministers meetings in 2008 and 2009, which calls for Cambodian and Thai troops to withdraw from a pagoda near Cambodia’s Preah Vihear temple.

He said Mr Hun Sen had also pushed Mr Abhisit to ask the Thai Par­liament to ratify the minutes from three previous JBC meetings in 2008 and 2009, so the border demarcation process could continue.

“These two issues are major pro­blems. If we withdraw the military out, it will be better, and then we can demarcate…along the border,” Mr Namhong said. “Since 2008…the Thai [Parliament] has not ratified the agreements and this is the barrier.”

Officials at the Thai Embassy and the Thai Foreign Ministry could not be reached yesterday.

A statement released by the Thai government’s public relations department after Monday’s meeting made no mention of Mr Hun Sen’s requests.

State-owned Thai news agency MCOT reported Wednesday that Mr Abhisit expected both leaders to talk about the border demarcation process at the Asean Summit in Hanoi later this month.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said yesterday that he was not aware of any details regarding the leaders’ meeting in Hanoi.

      (Additional reporting by Mark Worley)


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