"The problem is that Thailand always changes the leader of its government, so we have to restart discussion of the issue with a new person," Var Kimhong, Cambodia's top border negotiator, said
- From: Chim <ChimS1@xxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2009 04:15:25 -0800 (PST)
Top negotiator doubts new sea border talks will solve dispute
Written by Cheang Sokha
Wednesday, 28 January 2009
Var Kimhong points out that 2001 working group similar to that
announced Monday failed to demarcate Thai-Cambodian sea border.
CAMBODIA'S top border negotiator questioned Tuesday whether talks
between Cambodia and Thailand regarding the countries' disputed sea
border could lead to an actual agreement and official demarcation.
Following a meeting Monday between Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor
Namhong and Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya, Hor Namhong announced
that a joint technical working group charged with demarcating the sea
border would be established in March at the latest. The exact date
depends on when the Thai Cabinet could approve the head of its side of
But Var Kimhong, Cambodia's top border negotiator, said the
announcement did not amount to a major breakthrough in the dispute, as
the two countries had already created a working group in 2001 in a
failed attempt to settle their disagreement.
"The problem is that Thailand always changes the leader of its
government, so we have to restart discussion of the issue with a new
person," he said. "We are already prepared to work on this issue but
we're waiting for the Thai side."
He said the Cambodian side of the working group, chaired by Deputy
Prime Minister Sok An, remained in place.
Thailand and Cambodia both assert claims over some 27,000 square
kilometres of disputed maritime territory in the Gulf of Thailand that
is believed to contain significant amounts of oil and gas reserves. An
overseas subsidiary of American energy giant Chevron Corp holds a 55-
percent interest in a Cambodian section of the Gulf of Thailand
covering 6,278 kilometres.
A more positive take
Phay Siphan, spokesman and secretary of state at the Council of
Ministers, had a more positive outlook on the announced talks, saying
the two governments have previously focused almost exclusively on the
land border to the detriment of maritime talks.
He said that government officials would now begin researching the
various memorandum of understanding and treaties relating to the
disputed maritime territory in preparation for the talks.
In addition to the announcement of new dialogue on border issues, the
foreign ministers also announced Monday an agreement to scale back the
number of troops remaining from last year's escalation at the temple.
- Prev by Date: Cambodia's border issue is another legacy of Thailand's PAD
- Next by Date: Development and affected relocation must be a win-win situation for developers, resettlers and communities
- Previous by thread: Cambodia's border issue is another legacy of Thailand's PAD
- Next by thread: Development and affected relocation must be a win-win situation for developers, resettlers and communities