BANGKOK, Nov 18 (MCOT online news) - Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said he had talked with his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen about the Preah Vihear dispute and they mutually agreed that they did not want to see any border clash or relations to deteriorate.
Mr Abhisit met Mr Hun Sen on the sidelines of the 4th Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) Summit in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh on Wednesday.
He said the 40-minute talk focussed on a wide range of problems on Preah Vihear and its surrounding area in talks which were the third round of follow-up talks for the neighbouring leaders but is considered the first time that the two leaders themselves have straightforward talks over the issue.
"The atmosphere is very smooth and both sides acknowledge the differing ideas and express mutual views that they do not want to see any tense situation, no more border clashes between the troops and do not want the relation to deteriorate," he said.
Both leaders tried to explore ways to enable the people of the two countries see the positive side of the relations and the problems should be solved in accordance with the existing agreements, said the Thai premier.
Mr Abhisit said he has explained that the all existing mechanisms are working including the General Border Committee (GBC) and Joint Boundary Commission (JBC). The GBC and JBC at the provincial and military levels have regular contact to avoid misunderstandings and tension.
However, he said, the JBC did not run smoothly as the Thai Parliament has yet to approve the minutes of the border agency's meeting which could further delay negotiations on the border settlement near the Preah Vihear Temple.
The Cambodian premier knew that the minutes of the meeting have to be approved by Parliament as required by the Constitution, he said.
Mr Abhisit said he told the Cambodian leader that the tension stemmed from the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)'s World Heritage issue and the contested area where a market, communities and temple were set up.
Thailand would like to see the area back to its previous status in 2000 with Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to be fully observed by both sides while Cambodia wanted the 2008 generality, he said.
According to the MoU between Thailand and Cambodia on the survey and land boundary demarcation signed in June 2000, both parties agreed not to carry out any changes in the environment of the frontier zone, pending completion of the survey and border demarcation.
Thailand and Cambodia have been at loggerheads over Preah Vihear since the World Heritage Committee added it to the World Heritage List of 2008. The listing has nothing to do with the boundaries, but Thailand feared Cambodia would use the disputed areas adjacent to the temple as a buffer zone particularly the 4.6 square metres area which contested by both countries.
Since the conflict started, military standoff has been on and off along the two countries' border and several military clashes with recorded small casualties from both sides.
Mr Hun Sen earlier said that as long as Thailand redeploys its troops just like the time before July 15, 2008, the border issue will be solved peacefully and smoothly.
The International Court of Justice on June 15, 1962 ruled in favor to Cambodia, saying Preah Vihear Temple is belonged to Cambodia.
Mr Abhisit said from now on the cultural exchange activities between the two countries would be promoted to boost ties between the people of the two countries.
AJoint Thai-Cambodian concert will take place on Nov 28 at the Indoor Stadium at Hua Mark to promote economic, cultural and social co-operation between the two neighboring countries.