Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Cambodian PM Denies Agreement with Ex-Thai Deputy Army Chief

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said Monday he has never agreed with Gen. Wichit Yathip, the former Thai deputy army chief, on troop withdrawal from the disputed border area next to the 11th century Preah Vihear temple.

Thai media reported that Gen. Wichit Yathip said that before the border clashes between the two countries broke out in February, he had talked with Prime Minister Hun Sen and the premier suggested a three-point solution.
They agreed that both countries should withdraw troops from the (disputed) area and jointly manage the 4.6-square kilometer overlapping border area.
Hun Sen acknowledged that he met with Wichit during wedding of the son of Cambodian defense minister Tea Banh in Phnom Penh.
"Wichit Yathip just paid a short courtesy call on me and we had not discussed anything concerning the Thai-claimed overlapping area near the temple because Cambodia has never known where the 4. 6-square kilometer area is," he said at the graduation ceremony at the Royal School of Administration. "I don't know where he has these remarks from."
"Wichit should clarify on his remarks, or he would lose his value," said the premier.
Hun Sen said that if Cambodia agreed to these points, there would be no Cambodia's complaints to international bodies.
The premier made the remarks after the Bangkok Post online newspaper reported that Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said on Sunday Cambodia should withdraw all border dispute cases from international bodies and return to talks with Thailand.
The deadly conflict between Cambodia and Thailand over border dispute has flared up since Cambodia's Preah Vihear temple was awarded the World Heritage Site on July 7, 2008.

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