Cambodia has advantage over Thailand on temple issues at ICJ: Deputy PM

Seal of the International Court of JusticeCambodia has the advantage over Thailand in the legal battle between the two countries in the Hague, the Netherlands, said Cambodian deputy prime minister Hor Namhong, who is also the minister of foreign affairs on Thursday.

"With the internationally legal mechanism, Cambodia is in a better advantageous position than Thailand as we have internationally recognized documents and maps to support on the issues of Preah Vihear temple," he said at Phnom Penh International Airport upon his return from the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the Netherlands, where he joined the two-day public hearing on the issues of Preah Vihear temple on May 30-31.

"However, the decision is up to the Court," he said.

The Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands), seat of the International Court of Justice. Photograph: PE FotostudioThe public hearing was held after Cambodia, on April 28, submitted a request to the Court for the interpretation of the Court's judgment of 1962 on the case concerning the temple of Preah Vihear. Also, it submitted a request to the ICJ to take conservatory measures for the temple.

The Court's decision will be made within 40 to 45 days.

"Whatever the decision the Court makes will not damage Cambodia because Cambodia is the requester," he said.

The ICJ awarded Preah Vihear temple to Cambodia in 1962 and the temple was enlisted as a World Heritage Site on July 7, 2008. But Thailand claims the ownership of 4.6 square kilometers of scrub next to the temple.

The border conflict between Cambodia and Thailand has occurred just a week after the enlistment. Since then, both sides have built up military forces along the border and periodic clashes have happened, resulted in the deaths of troops and civilians on both sides.

The two sides agreed to accept Indonesian observers to monitor a ceasefire on their respective border side on Feb 22 at the ASEAN foreign ministers meeting in Jakarta, but the deployment was always delayed because Thailand demanded that Cambodian soldiers and locals be withdrawn from the disputed area of 4.6 sq km near the temple first.

Source: Xinhua


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