Heng Xamrin asks ASEAN’s involvement in the resolution of border dispute in Preah Viheare
Heng Xamrin, president of the National Assembly (NA), asked ASEAN to help resolve the border dispute between Cambodia and Thailand after a deadlock for an approval by the Thai parliament was met and this situation prevented Bangkok from continuing further negotiation with Cambodia.
Cheam Yeap, CPP chairman of the NA economic and finance committee, told a press conference in the evening of 08 August, after his arrival from Bangkok, that Heng Xamrin made this appeal at the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) meeting held on 05-06 August in Pattaya, Thailand. Cheam Yeap said that Heng Xamrin also raised the issue ot Thailand’s aggression in the Preah Vihear temple zone. Heng Xamrin wanted ASEAN to get involved in this issue, and it should not remain silent, but that it must help find a resolution and, in particular, developed countries should help poor countries.
Heng Xamrin made this appeal because the bilateral talks with Thailand do not lead to any result, and Thailand does not seem to want to reach a quick resolution on this issue.
Furthermore, Heng Xamrin also met with Thai leaders and he pushed them to speed up the border dispute resolution. Cheam Yeap said that, in response to Heng Xamrin’s request, Thai PM Abhisit Vejjajiva said that he will send the Preah Vihear temple case to the Thai parliament. However, Cheam Yeap warned: “We don’t know if Abhisit’s words can be trusted or not yet. If the Thai parliament approves this issue quickly, only then can Abhisit’s words be trusted.”
Cheam Yeap indicated that Heng Xamrin also met with Chai Chidchob, Thai parliament president, and he made the same request also. Chai Chidchob said that he will resolve this issue quickly.
Cheam Yeap said that Heng Xamrin also raised about Cambodia’s sufficient legal backing in its claim in Preah Vihear temple, and the Thailand have a hard time saying anything because the 1904 and 1907 Franco-Siam conventions and the 15 June 1962 decision by The Hague International Court of Justice returned Preah Vihear to Cambodia. On 07 July 2008, UNESCO also accepted to list Preah Vihear temple as a World Heritage site.
Heng Xamrin and the Cambodian delegation returned back home in the evening of 08 August, following the conclusion of the IPU meeting on 06 August, and Heng Xamrin’s meeting with Thai leaders in the following day.
The IPU meeting was held under tight security with the presence of almost 1,000 security personnel. The IPU meeting discussed about (1) Safety, security and common regional policy, (2) Economic, commercial and foreign investment cooperation, (3) Social safety and security for the strengthening of public welfare and the prevention of contagious diseases, (5) Perpetual development and environment, and (5) Discussion in information and electronic communication.