Def minister: Observers needed at disputed zone

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BANGKOK, 22 August 2011 – Defence Minister General Yuthasak Sasiprapa has indicated that foreign observers are needed at the disputed Preah Vihear Temple zone to be the mediator and witness for both Thailand and Cambodia. 

Speaking about the progress of the Regional Border Committee (RBC) and General Border Committee (GBC) meetings, General Yuthasak stated that a discussion will be made today to specify frameworks and suggestions.

The RBC meeting will be organised from 23 to 25 August 2011 in the northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima. Apart from 15 normal issues on the agenda, a discussion will be made on troop deployment along the Thai-Cambodian border at the Preah Vihear Temple according to the World Court’s order.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued a temporary injunction, ordering withdrawal of troops from both sides from the disputed zone. The RBC discussion will be made only on the scope of the military side, the result of which will be used as a framework for the GBC meeting accordingly.

As for Indonesian observers who will come to the disputed zone following the ICJ’s order, the minister responded that the deployment of foreign observers is necessary because they can be the witness in case there is any incident taking place in the area in the future.

General Yuthasak noted that so far the Thai side has never started the conflict.