Thai defence minister attends ASEAN defence ministers meeting in Phnom Penh

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BANGKOK, May 28 – Thai Defence Minister Air Chief Marshal Sukampol Suwannathat left Thailand this morning for Cambodia to attend the 6th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM).

Gen Sukampol led the Thai delegation including Permanent-Secretary for Defence Gen Satien Permthongin and Gen Nipat thonglek, director of the ministry’s office of policy and planning to the regional meeting of defence ministers in Phnom Penh today and tomorrow.

Under the theme “Enhancing ASEAN Unity for a Harmonised and Secure Community,” the meeting will be chaired by Cambodian Defence Minister Gen Tea Banh.

The Thai defence minister will hold bilateral talks with his counterparts from Indonesia, Myanmar and Malaysia.

Gen Sukampol, however, said that there will be no talks with Cambodia on implementation of the orders of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) regarding the Preah Vihear dispute as the issue has nothing to do with the ASEAN ministerial meeting on regional security.

The ICJ last July ordered both Thailand and Cambodia to immediately withdraw military personnel present in the provisional demilitarised zone and refrain from any military presence within that zone, while urging both countries to work with ASEAN to reach an agreement allowing regional bloc observers to enter the disputed zone.

The ADMM was first held in Kuala Lumpur in 2006, allowing the ministers to exchange views on security-concerned issues and promoting mutual trust and confidence within the regional bloc.