Thai Army Chief to join Thai delegates at Thai-Cambodian border meeting


BANGKOK, Dec 20 – Army chief Gen Prayuth Chano-cha on Tuesday said he will join the Thai delegation led by Defense Minister Gen Yutthasak Sasiprapa attend the Thai-Cambodian General Border Committee (GBC) to be held in Cambodia tomorrow.

He said the meeting will discuss 17 key issues to boost peace along the Thai-Cambodian border and learn the Cambodian stance in compliance with the injunction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The ICJ on July 18 ordered Thailand and Cambodia to withdraw their troops from the newly defined demilitarised zone in a disputed portion of their border around the historic Preah Vihear temple while urging both countries to work with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to agree to allow the regional bloc’s observers to enter the disputed zone.

The conclusion of the GBC meeting will be proposed to the Cabinet and Parliament under Article 190 of the Constitution, stipulating that any international treaties and agreements must first be approved by Parliament first, he said.

Asked if border patrol police will be deployed to replace troops possibly withdrawn under ICJ’s order, he said no decision has been made but it is an obligation that Thailand must implement.

However, he said, it was normal that every country must consider the benefit of the nation as priority.

At the GBC meeting, it is expected that both sides will specify the forces to replace their soldiers at Preah Vihear in accordance with the court order.