Thailand welcomes any assistance to be given by members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in facilitating a border dispute settlement with Cambodia bilaterally, said Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Saturday.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, the current Asean chair, has invited all Asean foreign ministers to an urgent meeting in Jakarta to discuss the Preah Vihear border dispute between Thailand and Cambodia.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke with Hun Sen and Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Tuesday and once again offered UN help in negotiating a peace deal.
Developments moved rapidly as the UNSC met on Monday night to discuss the Thai-Cambodian conflict, urging restraint on both sides and expressing the hope that a resolution could be reached via peaceful means.
The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today named Koïchiro Matsuura as Special Envoy to address the issue of Preah Vihear, a Hindu temple inscribed on the World Heritage List that has been damaged owing to recent border clashes between Cambodia and Thailand.
Mr. Matsuura, the former Director-General of UNESCO, will visit Bangkok and Phnom Penh to discuss how the site can be safeguarded.
“He will examine with both sides how to lessen tension and promote dialogue around the preservation of the temple, within the Organization’s mandate,” the Paris-based agency said in a news release.
UNESCO had announced earlier this week that it would send a mission to assess the damage caused by the recent armed clashes between the two South-East Asian neighbours to the temple, which was inscribed on the World Heritage List in July 2008.
Tensions first escalated between the two countries that same month following the build-up of military forces near the temple, which dates back to the 11th century and is located on the Cambodian side of the border.
“World Heritage sites are the heritage of all humanity and the international community has a special responsibility to safeguard them. This requires a collective effort that must be undertaken in a spirit of consultation and dialogue,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.
“Heritage should unite people and serve as an instrument of dialogue and mutual understanding and not of conflict,” she added.
Mr Abhisit said he expected Asda Jayanama, chief of the Thai-Cambodian Joint commission on Demarcation for Land Boundary (JBC), would brief Mr Kasit on the outcome of his meeting with UNESCO director in Paris while the minister is on his way to New York.
The prime minister said he hoped that UNESCO would obtain a clearer picture and also help ease tension.
The International Court of Justice in 1962 ruled that the 11th century Preah Vihear temple belongs to Phnom Penh. UNESCO named it a World Heritage site in 2008 after Cambodia had applied for the status. The country submitted a management plan for the temple to UNESCO’s World Heritage Commission in 2010, which deferred a decision until this year.
On reports which need to be confirmed regarding clashes at the Cambodian border district of Poi Pet, opposite Aranyaprathet, Mr Abhisit said he was only informed of heavy reinforcements in the area and would prefer the military and concerned units either confirm or deny it, as the Thai government’s policy is clear that the country would not invade others and that what it had done was to protect its sovereignty. (MCOT online news)
The Latest on Covid-19 in Southeast Asia
Thailand has largely avoided widespread community transmission of Covid-19, but the kingdom is not faring well on the economic front, with a projected contraction of 7.1 percent this year.
China’s debt-trap diplomacy: Laos’ credit rating downgraded to CCC
Laos’ debt challenge is deeply concerning, with some media commentators suggesting the country is falling into a debt trap as a result of Chinese infrastructure investments connected to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)
Foreign capital still heads to Vietnam
As many as 798 projects added a combined over 5.11 billion USD to their investment capital, down 23 percent year-on-year in project number but up 6.8 percent in value.
Thailand approves COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine for emergency use
The first lot of 50,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca will arrive in Thailand early next month, after...
Interprovincial travel in Thailand amid COVID-19 controls
The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) is suspending 57 additional train services from 26 January, 2021, as part of the...
Covid-19 puts flexible space markets under strain
In the wake of operator defaults, landlords will be forced to re-evaluate the role of flexible space in their portfolios.
Thailand to put world’s largest floating solar farm into use this June
The facility, which generates power on a water surface of 72 hectares, was originally scheduled for operation in December last...
TAT launches virtual tours to 4 top destinations in Thailand
Once inside an attraction, visitors can move around using the cursor, while some of the attractions have information about its...
Thailand’s automotive sector expected to produce 1.4m cars this year
This increase in output is a result of the recovery of domestic and export markets, with the annual output for...
Subscribe via Email
Forex1 week ago
Leverage from Forex Brokers & How Beginners Can Benefit from It
Economics6 days ago
Thai economy to grow 4% in 2021 following 6.5% decline in 2020
National6 days ago
Human trafficking cases in Thailand hit decade low due to COVID-19
Banking1 week ago
Can Fintech drive a strong post-COVID-19 recovery in Asia?