Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Preah Vihear ruling will not jeopardise ties : Cambodian minister
Cambodia would comply with the International Court of Justice (ICJ)'s ruling on Preah Vihear temple - whatever it is, and the verdict would not jeopardise relations with Thailand, Hor Namhong, the Cambodian Foreign Minister said yesterday.
The Nation October 29, 2013 1:00 am
In a joint statement after a meeting with Thai counterpart Surapong Tovichakchaikul, he said both sides agreed to step up necessary measures to maintain peace and stability along the border before and after the ICJ ruling is delivered.
"Cambodia understands that the disputed area near the Preah Vihear is a small piece of land. We don't allow this tiny issue to affect our long cooperation and close relations of the two countries. People of the two countries should protect our friendship," Hor Namhong said in the press briefing after the meeting.
The two ministers met to prepare for the ICJ interpretation of the 1962 judgement on Preah Vihear temple - on November 11 - as they fear political rivals may seek to stir up public opposition and misunderstanding.
Surapong said the two governments and military leaders of both countries would jointly maintain peace and stability, and try to prevent undesirable incidents along the border.
Both countries would release information to the public with special care, he said, noting that Thai and Cambodian foreign ministries would cooperate to properly inform people about the case. Bilateral mechanisms such as the joint commission and others would consult over the court judgement and its implementation, he said.
Hor Namhong said Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen had given clear instructions to police and the armed forces to maintain peace and stability on the border with Thailand. In order to avoid misunderstanding, conflict and clashes, Hun Sen had ordered Cambodian troops to exercise utmost restraint, he said.
If the previous Thai government had not "cornered" Cambodia so it had no choice, Phnom Penh would not have taken the 1962 judgement to the ICJ for interpretation, he said.
"The previous Thai government created trouble in 2008 and the two countries had military clashes, so we had to go to the court to seek a peaceful solution for both countries," he said.
"Whatever the court rules, we will maintain peace and friendship. If we have peace, we will have friendship," Hor Namhong said.
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