Saturday, May 7, 2011

Cambodia rejects Thailand's request to leave the temple of Preah Vihear

The Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong, rejected the request of Thailand to withdraw its troops from Preah Vihear temple because he believes that Bangkok is not honest in its intentions for peace. "I never withdraw the troops from our territory, it must be very clear," Namhong said in Jakarta after meeting with his Indonesian counterpart, Marty Natalegawa.

Cambodia and Thailand share a stretch of border that was never clearly defined what caused many battles, in recent weeks have killed 18 people and about 60,000 have been displaced. The current conflict began in 2008, when UNESCO declared World Heritage Site and included Preah Vihear in Cambodian territory, an eleventh-century Hindu temple.

Thailand and does not claim sovereignty over the site, but still wants several square miles surrounding. Indonesia, which this year heads the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), seeks a cease-fire and deploy neutral observers in the border area that Cambodia and Thailand dispute.

The ASEAN summit, to be held tomorrow and Sunday in Jakarta, would be another opportunity for both countries to reach a consensual solution to the conflict.

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