US urges Thailand, Cambodia to solve dispute peacefully

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BANGKOK, 19 July 2011– The US has once again called on both Thailand and Cambodia to solve their border disputes in a peaceful manner after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has issued a temporary injunction ordering withdrawals of troops by both sides.

US State Department Spokesperson Heide Bronke Fulton stated that the US has been encouraging both Thailand and Cambodia to resort to negotiation and exercise maximum restraints to solve the border dispute in a peaceful manner for the regional stability.

On behalf of the US, the spokesperson also voiced support to the efforts of Indonesia, the incumbent ASEAN chair, to act as a mediator between Thailand and Cambodia.

The statement was made after the ICJ ordered both Thailand and Cambodia to withdraw troops from the disputed zone around the ancient Preah Vihear Temple, where forces of both sides clashed in February and April this year, killing 28 people and forcing 85,000 border residents to evacuate.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce’s committee on economic promotion with neighbouring countries Niyom Wairatpanij welcomed the ruling of the ICJ as it will benefit border trade and tourism after the businesses have been stagnant since the beginning of this year.

Mr Niyom added that the governments of the two countries should also seek bilateral talks to improve mutual trade and tourism cooperation further.