Archive for September 2010
PYONGYANG, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) — Top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Il was named general secretary of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) at a crucial conference on Tuesday.
Describing it a joyous occasion for the whole country, the official KCNA said the nomination shows an absolute support for and confidence in the top leader by the party and people.
The conference, the first in 44 years, was expected to elect the party’s highest leading body.
Kim has enriched and developed the Juche Idea, guiding ideology of the country, clarified the path that the country’s revolution and the party should take and led the country forward, the report said.
Kim made enduring contributions to the great cause of fighting imperialism, it said.
The great undertaking of carrying the country’s Songun (military first) politics through to the end is the unswerving faith and will of the people and the army, the report added.
As the conference, dubbed “an epoch-making milestone,” opened, the capital was permeated with an atmosphere of festivity. The whole city was turned into a forest of flags, banners and placards.
In the morning, various outdoor performances were staged at the Pyongyang Train Station, the Pyongyang Grand Theater and other popular public sites, each drawing hundreds of spectators. Women dressed up in fine clothes could be seen on all main streets.
The exact locale of the meeting remains unclear. The Mansudae Assembly Hall, the originally expected meeting place, looked quiet. Not far away, dozens of buses were parked outside the April 25 House of Culture, where police officers were on patrol and traffic was partly blocked.
Meanwhile, hundreds of black sedans were lined up outside the People’s Cultural Palace, another nearby facility capable of accommodating thousands of people.
Under the charter of the ruling WPK, the WPK delegates can discuss and decide the line, policies and personnel changes of the party at such a conference.
On Monday, Kim Jong Il issued an order promoting his son Kim Jong Un and several commanding officers to the rank of general. Meanwhile, Kim Kyong Hui, Choe Ryong Hae and three others from the ruling party were also promoted to generals.
The order also gave the rank of colonel general to Ryu Kyong, lieutenant general to Ro Hung Se, Ri Tu Song and four others, and the rank of major general to Jo Kyong Jun, Jang To Yong and Mun Jong Chol and 24 others.
Also on Monday, Ri Yong Ho, chief of the army’s General Staff, was awarded the military rank of Vice Marshal of the Korean People’s Army on Monday by a decision of the National Defence Commission.
The delayed conference, originally slated for early September, was widely expected to have a great influence on the country’s future.
Tens of thousands of textile workers staged a four-day walkout earlier this month to demand higher wages — the latest bout of industrial action in Asia.
In a letter sent to unions and the Garment Manufacturers’ Association in Cambodia (GMAC) on Friday and seen by AFP on Monday, the major foreign buyers said they had been closely following the recent developments in the industry.
“It is now with great concern that we watch the direction the process is taking,” they wrote.
The letter — which was also signed by The Walt Disney Company — urged both sides to find a “long-term solution” and called for “mature industrial relations”.
GMAC secretary general Ken Loo said nothing had been agreed in the first meeting between manufacturers and unions on Monday, and both sides are to submit a list of five negotiators to the Ministry of Labour by Wednesday.
He added that the unions had not pressed for a minimum wage increase — GMAC had made clear beforehand that was not an option — but asked for an attendance bonus, a seniority bonus, daily food allowances and a living wage allowance.
Ken Loo said there was room to negotiate about the allowances and a deal “is possible.”
Union leader Ath Thun, president of the Cambodian Labour Confederation, told AFP: “We are hopeful that we will get those demands because all sides have agreed to negotiate to end the issue.”
The garment industry is a key source of foreign income for Cambodia and employs about 345,000 workers.
The strike followed a deal between the government and industry that set the minimum monthly wage for garment staff at 61 dollars, whereas unions want a base salary of 93 dollars.
Unions say about 200,000 workers took part in the walkout but GMAC puts the number at just 45,000, with only around half that actually picketing outside the factory.
The strike ended on September 16 when the government arranged talks between the two sides.
(AP) 27/9/2010—HANOI, Vietnam — Vietnamese police are investigating a man for allegedly raping his daughter nearly every day for the past four years, authorities said Monday.
The man, 39, was questioned by police Saturday in Bu Gia Map district in southern Binh Phuoc province and is still being investigated by authorities, a local police officer said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
The man’s wife and daughter reported the case to police in Hung Long village on Friday, the officer said.
Child rape is a serious offense in Vietnam and can result in the death penalty. However, cases involving incest rarely become public.
The girl told police the assaults began in June 2006, when she was 11. She said her father forced himself on her in her bedroom or in the kitchen nearly every day, according to the officer.
The mother told police she caught her husband raping their daughter about a month ago, but the man begged her not to report it and promised not to do it again, the officer said.
As time passed, he became angry with her for shielding their daughter from him and he beat the mother up, prompting her to report the case, she told police.
The girl, who is now 16 and in the 10th grade, was taken to a hospital Saturday for a checkup, and doctors determined that she had been raped, the officer said.
The girl, the eldest of three daughters, is now staying with her grandparents, he said, adding that villagers have become outraged by news of the incident and are demanding that the man be jailed.
(AP) 26/9/2010—BANGKOK – Security was tightened further in Thailand’s capital Sunday after a bomb attack, the latest in a series believed linked to the country’s fractious politics, hit a target closely associated with the ruling class. No one was hurt and there was little damage.
Police Col. Weerawit Chanchamroen said the explosion took place shortly after midnight near the Royal Turf Club, which is one of Bangkok’s two racetracks. He said the homemade bomb did not completely detonate and caused only minor damage to the club gate and a pedestrian bridge.
Weerawit said authorities are still investigating the motive for the attack.
Dozens of bombings have plagued the capital this year in tandem with anti-government protests by supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a 2006 military coup. At least a half dozen grenades have exploded since July at targets connected with the government, killing one person and wounding a dozen more. There have been no claims of responsibility, though the government has suggested the attacks are part of an anti-government conspiracy.
There were two other small bombings Friday in Bangkok, but the targets had no political significance and police said they appeared to be related to personal or business disputes.
However, the Royal Turf Club, popularly known as the Nang Lerng race track, is closely associated with Thailand’s traditional power holders in the royal palace and the military. Thaksin’s supporters, as well as pro-democracy activists, accuse the ruling elite of staging the 2006 coup because they felt his popularity and power threatened their own influence.
According to Paul Handley, author of the 2006 book “The King Never Smiles: A Biography of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej,” the Royal Turf Club and its crosstown counterpart, the Royal Bangkok Sports Club, both serve as exclusive sports, golf and horse racing clubs for the rich, the titled and the powerful.
“At both as well, untaxed backroom betting operations on horse races dwarfed the official tote, while enriching club management and membership, invariably the aristocratic and military elite,” Handley wrote in his book, which is banned in Thailand.
In 2002, when Thaksin was prime minister, his cousin, then-assistant army chief Gen. Chaisit Shinawatra, led an attempt to gain control of the Royal Turf Club through election to its board.
The takeover bid was defeated by an incumbent team led by veteran politician Sanan Kachornprasart, former secretary general of the Democrat Party, Thaksin’s main political rivals, wrote Wassana Nanuam, the military correspondent for the Bangkok Post newspaper.
Although Sanan is now chief adviser to the Chart Thai Pattana Party, he remains close to the Democrats ands serves as a deputy prime minister in the Democrat-led government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. Last week, the Thai press was abuzz with speculation that Sanan could take over as prime minister if a court ruling on alleged election law violations forces Abhisit from his job.
PPP by Meas Sokchea 26/9/2010—Self-exiled opposition leader Sam Rainsy has officially filed a lawsuit against Prime Minister Hun Sen in a United States court, accusing him of involvement in a 1997 grenade attack on an opposition rally that killed 16 and wounded more than 100.
The suit, filed in New York last week by Morton Sklar, a lawyer at the World Organisation for Human Rights USA, seeks the prosecution of Hun Sen and other senior officials on charges of allegedly carrying out the attacks and obstructing the course of justice.
It recognised that Hun Sen would be difficult to prosecute, but said the purpose of the suit was “to make clear [Hun Sen’s] direct involvement in both the original grenade attack itself, and in the efforts by his subordinates to cover up the crimes”.
On March 30, 1997, four grenades were thrown at a rally held by the opposition Khmer Nation Party – the predecessor to today’s SRP – killing and injuring scores of bystanders.
In addition to Hun Sen, the lawsuit accuses Generals Huy Pised and Hing Bun Heang – commanders in Hun Sen’s personal bodyguard unit – as well as then-municipal police chief Mok Chito of obstructing a US investigation into the attacks, which injured US citizen Ron Abney.
“No one that directly interferes with a US criminal investigation should be treated with impunity because they are foreign citizens, or committed their violations of US law in foreign nations,” the lawsuit says. “If they can avoid responsibility for past acts, they are emboldened to commit further abuses, and that seems to be the pattern that is developing.”
The complaint was timed to coincide with Hun Sen’s visit to New York, where he attended a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly and the ASEAN-US Leaders’ Meeting on its sidelines. In 2005, during another visit by Hun Sen to New York, Sam Rainsy filed a similar complaint that resulted in the Cambodian leader’s being served a subpoena by US officials.
Unveiling the lawsuit by live videoconference from Paris on Friday, Sam Rainsy said that in 2005, the premier was “terrified” after being subpoenaed by US officials and had implored the SRP leader to withdraw the complaint. He said, however, that he would not agree to a similar deal now.
“This time, even if Mr Hun Sen implores me, bows his knee before me, I will not agree,” Sam Rainsy told reporters.
Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan dismissed the comments, saying that Sam Rainsy’s lawsuit would have no effect since he was trying to take the law “into his own hands”.
“Samdech [Hun Sen] has never implored Sam Rainsy, but Sam Rainsy has implored Samdech,” Phay Siphan said. “Sam Rainsy has never won any case in the world during his lifetime.”
Government spokesman and Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith said that the government’s investigation into the grenade attack was still open, and that the whereabouts of three suspects – including one of Sam Rainsy’s bodyguards – were unknown.
“The government has never closed this case. If we have something new, we would continue with further investigations,” he said.
Tit for tat
The lawsuit was made public just days after Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced the SRP president to 10 years in prison after being convicted of disinformation and falsifying maps showing alleged border encroachments from Vietnam.
The sentence, which comes on top of the two-year term handed down against him by Svay Rieng provincial court in January, drew a strong response from local and international rights groups, who urged the international community to stand up and take note.
In a statement issued in New York on Friday, Human Rights Watch said that the verdict had “shattered Cambodia’s pretence of democracy” and urged US President Barack Obama to address the issue during Friday’s ASEAN-US Leaders’ Meeting.
“President Obama and other world leaders need to let Hun Sen and his government know that the free ride is over,” Sophie Richardson, acting Asia director at Human Rights Watch, was quoted as saying. “Cambodia cannot sentence the leader of the opposition to 10 years in prison for peaceful expression without expecting serious consequences.”
The statement claimed that the sentence was part of a “concerted and longstanding campaign against Rainsy” and urged nations that donate to Cambodia to take major actions – such as withdrawing their ambassadors – in protest.
When asked about the HRW comments, Khieu Kanharith said the opposition party had to obey the ruling of the courts.
“The free-lunch era is over,” he said. “You can’t enjoy impunity because of your status as opposition party. [If] you commit [an] offence, you have to pay.”
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 24, 2010
Joint Statement of the 2ND U.S.- ASEAN Leaders Meeting New York, NY
1. We, the heads of State/Government of Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Union of
Myanmar, the Republic of Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the United States (U.S.), held our Second ASEAN-U.S. Leaders’ Meeting on September 24 in New York. The Meeting was cochaired by H.E. Nguyen Minh Triet, President of Viet Nam, in his capacity as Chairman of ASEAN, and H. E. Barack Obama, President of the United States of America. The Secretary-General of ASEAN was also in attendance.
2. ASEAN appreciated the United States’ sustained engagement at the highest level with ASEAN Member States. We reaffirmed that U.S. participation in the annual Post Ministerial Conference (PMC) meetings, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the upcoming ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus) process, sustained engagement through the U.S.-ASEAN Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement (TIFA), U.S. accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), and the establishment of a permanent Mission to ASEAN have all demonstrated the United States’ firm commitment to continue to strengthen comprehensive relations with ASEAN. We welcomed the appointment of the first resident U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN in Jakarta.
3. We recognized these elements of greater engagement between ASEAN and the United States. We agreed to further deepen our current partnership in order to provide the framework for continued growth in ASEAN-U.S. relations and to expand the significant contributions our cooperation already has made to peace, stability and prosperity in Southeast Asia and the broader East Asia region. We welcomed the idea to elevate our partnership to a strategic level and will make this a primary focus area of the ASEANU. S. Eminent Persons Group and will task it to develop concrete and practical recommendations to that end by 2011. We also looked forward to the adoption of the new five-year Plan of Action for 2011-2015.
4. ASEAN Leaders welcomed the United States’ support for ASEAN Community and Connectivity. We will strengthen cooperation with the United States in addressing issues related to human rights, trade and investment, energy efficiency, agriculture, educational, cultural and people-to-people exchanges, interfaith dialogue, science and technology, disaster risk management and emergency response, health and pandemic diseases, environment, biodiversity conservation, climate change, combating illicit trafficking in persons, arms and drugs and other forms of transnational crimes. We resolved to deepen cooperation against international terrorism under the framework of the ASEAN-U.S. Joint Declaration for Cooperation to Combat International Terrorism.
5. We discussed the growing efforts to promote regional cooperation in East Asia and reaffirmed the importance of ASEAN centrality in the EAS process. ASEAN welcomed the U.S. President’s intention to participate in the East Asia Summit (EAS) beginning in 2011 and Secretary Clinton’s attendance as a guest of the chair at the Fifth EAS meeting on October 30, 2010 in Ha Noi. ASEAN and the United States expect to continue to exchange views with all stakeholders to ensure an open and inclusive approach to regional cooperation in the future.
6. We reviewed our discussion from our first historic meeting in Singapore last year and noted with satisfaction the substantial accomplishments of the U.S.-ASEAN Enhanced Partnership. We reaffirmed the importance of our common goals, and tasked our officials to continue to pursue programs and activities to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, enhance regional integration, and support the realization of an ASEAN Community by 2015.
7. We committed to further enhance cooperation on sustainable agriculture development and food security through the L’Aquila Food Security Initiative, in particular to promote investment in country led-plans, greater efficiency of production and distribution, capacity building, sharing of experience and best practices, research and development as well as infrastructure development. In particular, we pledged to strengthen food security through support for the ASEAN Integrated Food Security (AIFS) Framework and Strategic Plan of Action on Food Security (SPA-FS) and through the promotion of agricultural and fisheries trade.
8. We acknowledged the continued relationship on technical assistance and capacitybuilding
for intellectual property protection and enforcement matters through a Letter of Arrangement between the ASEAN Secretariat and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, in place since 2004 and recently extended for another five years, and commended the results from previous training under this arrangement.
9. Building on our decision at the First ASEAN-U.S. Leaders Meeting, further consultations between relevant U.S. Cabinet Secretaries and their ASEAN counterparts should be explored and encouraged to develop areas of mutual cooperation.
10. ASEAN and the United States have learned valuable lessons from the crises of 1997 and 2008 and resolved to contribute to the reforms in the global financial architecture to safeguard the global economy from future crises, and committed to establish a durable foundation for future growth that is more balanced in its sources of demand and provides for development in line with the G-20 Framework for Strong, Sustainable, and Balanced Growth. In this respect, the United States acknowledged ASEAN’s constructive role in multilateral fora, including its contributions to the G-20 process.
11. We welcomed the rebound in trade between ASEAN and the United States and remained committed to further enhance economic cooperation in order to sustain the recovery and create jobs and additional economic opportunities in each of our countries. Two-way ASEAN-U.S. trade in goods reached $84 billion in the first six months of this year, an increase of 28-percent over last year. In addition, the stock of U.S. foreign direct investment in ASEAN totaled $153 billion in 2008 and the stock of ASEAN foreign direct investment in the United States was $13.5 billion.
12. We supported the intensification of efforts to advance new initiatives identified by all Parties under the ASEAN-U.S. Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement (ASEANU.S. TIFA), including completion of a trade facilitation agreement, continued development of trade finance and trade and environment dialogues, and continued cooperation on standards under the ASEAN Consultative Committee on Standards and Quality (ACCSQ). We welcomed that our Finance Ministers have met, for the first time, to discuss issues of mutual concern in the global economy, and regional developments.
13. We recognized that corruption and illicit trade undermine development, investment, tax revenues and legitimate business in the region, creating insecurity in our communities and long-term barriers to growth. For this reason, we underscored the importance of ratification and full implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption. We also recognized the need to deepen our cooperation, especially in regard to discussions on achieving more durable and balanced global growth, increasing capacity building activities in the key areas such as combating corruption and illicit trade, preventing bribery, enhancing transparency in both public and private sectors, denying safe haven, extradition and asset recovery. We also welcomed the G-20’s efforts to advance the fight against corruption.
14. We welcomed continued progress on regional trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, including through the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) process, as well as ongoing negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership involving several members of ASEAN as well as the United States.
15. We recognized that climate change is a common concern of humankind. In line with the Bali Roadmap, we reaffirmed that all countries should protect the climate system for the benefit of present and future generations in accordance with the principles and provisions of the UNFCCC, including the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. We agreed to strengthen our cooperation on addressing the climate change issues including on adaptation, finance, technology transfer, and capacity building. We recognized the important contribution of the Copenhagen Accord and are committed to work together towards a successful outcome of the 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico.
16. We appreciated the United States’ support for the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights and the offer to support the Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children through capacity building programs. We looked forward to the outcomes from the AICHR study tours that are to take place in the United States later this year and the visit of the ASEAN Commission on Women and Children planned next year.
17. ASEAN Leaders welcomed the continued U.S. engagement with the Government of Myanmar. We expressed our hope that ASEAN and U.S. engagement encourages Myanmar to undertake political and economic reforms to facilitate national reconciliation. We welcomed the ASEAN Chair’s Statement of 17 August 2010. We reiterated our call from the November 2009 Leaders Joint Statement that the November 2010 general elections in Myanmar must be conducted in a free, fair, inclusive and transparent manner in order to be credible for the international community. We emphasized the need for Myanmar to continue to work together with ASEAN and the United Nations in the process of national reconciliation.
18. We reaffirmed the importance of regional peace and stability, maritime security, unimpeded commerce, and freedom of navigation, in accordance with relevant universally agreed principles of international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and other international maritime law, and the peaceful settlement of disputes.
19. ASEAN Leaders welcomed the signing of the Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms on 8 April 2010 in Prague. ASEAN and the United States consider this an important step towards a world without nuclear weapons. In addition, ASEAN and the United States reaffirmed that the establishment of the South-East Asia Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (SEANWFZ) contributes towards global nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation, regional peace and stability. We encouraged Nuclear Weapon States and State Parties to the SEANWFZ to conduct consultations, in accordance with the objectives and principles of the Treaty. In this regard, ASEAN welcomed the U.S. announcement at the 2010 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that it is prepared to consult and resolve issues that would allow the United States to accede to the SEANWFZ Protocol. ASEAN congratulated the United States on the successful outcomes of the April 2010 Nuclear Security Summit, in which several ASEAN countries participated, and will work together implement the pledges and commitments they made there, and to engage others in the global effort to prevent nuclear terrorism.
20. We reiterated our commitment to prevent the use and spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), in an effort to build a world free of their threats. We congratulated the Philippines for its able and effective Presidency of the May 2010 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and stressed the necessity for all NPT Parties to continue to fulfill our respective obligation under the NPT. We reiterated the importance of a balanced, full and non-selective application and implementation of the Treaty’s three pillars – nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation, and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
21. We reaffirmed the importance of continuing to implement UN Security Council Resolutions 1929 on Iran as well as 1718 and 1874 on Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea (DPRK). We called on both countries and the international community to implement their obligations under the aforementioned resolutions. We further called on DPRK to implement its commitments under the September 19, 2005 Joint Statement of the Six Party Talks to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs and return, at an early date, to the NPT and to IAEA safeguards. We also urged the DPRK to comply fully with its obligations in accordance with the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions.
22. The Leaders of ASEAN and the United States welcomed the ADMM-Plus as a framework that could help strengthen the existing cooperation on regional defense and security between ASEAN and its partners in accordance with ADMM’s open, flexible and outward-looking orientation. ASEAN welcomed the planned participation of the Secretary of Defense in the inaugural meeting of the ADMM-Plus in October.
23. We welcomed the continuation of the U.S.-Lower Mekong Initiative to promote cooperation in the areas of environment, health, education and infrastructure development. We supported the continued convening of the ministerial meetings between the United States and Lower Mekong Basin countries. We encouraged U.S. engagement and support to Brunei Indonesia Malaysia Philippines-East Asia Growth Area (BIMPEAGA), Indonesia Malaysia Thailand-Growth Triangle (IMT-GT), Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS), Cambodia Laos Myanmar Viet Nam (CLMV), Heart of Borneo, and other sub-regional cooperation frameworks.
24. We recognized the importance of cooperation among ASEAN educational and research institutions and encouraged more such academic linkages. In this regard, we noted with appreciation the ERIA-Harvard University Cooperation in academic exchanges and research collaboration, particularly their joint-sponsored Symposium in Ha Noi on 26 October 2010 entitled “Evolving ASEAN Society and Establishing Sustainable Social Security Net.”
25. We stressed the importance of sustaining dialogue at the highest level between the two
sides and committed to hold our third meeting next year in conjunction with the 2011 East
ST 26/9/2010—NEW YORK – In their first joint meeting on American soil, leaders of the United States and Asean on Friday took fresh steps to cement their growing engagement, and pledged to cooperate more closely on the two key issues of education and trade.
They also agreed to meet again next year on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Jakarta. The first US-Asean summit was held in Singapore last year.
US President Barack Obama, who hosted the Asean leaders for lunch and a two-hour discussion at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York, said their meeting reflected the ‘growing importance and the unprecedented cooperation between Asean and the US’.
He added: ‘Asean countries are increasingly playing a leadership role in the region, and Asean itself has the potential to be a very positive force in global affairs.’
A joint statement issued at the end of the summit said the two sides would appoint a top advisory council to explore how best to take their partnership to a ‘strategic level’.
The document also called for the peaceful settlement of maritime disputes, though it made no direct reference to the heated territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
BANGKOK, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) — Thai foreign ministry is speedily developing plans to restore Thai-Cambodian relations, Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said on Monday.
On the local level, Kasit said the Thai and Cambodian army and provincial authorities will jointly promote cultural exchanges, organize sporting events, provide human rights and medical assistance and remove landmines along the border, Bangkok Post reports.
As for the middle level, a hotline service and more checkpoints will be set up for the two countries. The Cambodian information minister will also be invited to discuss bilateral issues, he said.
Kasit said the plans will be proposed to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva soon.
Thailand and Cambodia have age-old dispute over the area along their border and over the 900-year-old Hindu Preah Vihear Temple. In 1962, the International Court of Justice ruled the temple belongs to Cambodia, rejecting Thai claims.
Tensions flared up again as the UNESCO named Preah Vihear a World Heritage in 2008 and once again as Cambodia appointed Thailand’s ousted former-PM Thaksin Shinnawatra as its economic adviser in November 2009. Armed clashes resulting in casualties on both sides have occurred occasionally in the area since then.
Thailand protested against Cambodia by recalling its ambassador soon after Thaksin’s appointment, and then Cambodia followed the suit. The two countries’ diplomatic relations did not resume to normal until Aug. 25 of this year, when they reinstated the ambassadors to each other, following Thaksin’s resignation.
PHNOM PENH, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) — Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and his Thai counterpart Abhisit Vejjajiva assured to avoid military confrontation between the two armed forces, a Cambodian official said here Sunday.
The remarks were made in a 40-minute talk between the two leaders on Friday in New York, said Prak Sokhon, secretary of state of the Office of the Council of Ministers on Sunday.
Prak Sokhon said the meeting also discussed a joint monitoring on press reports that may jeopardize or confuse the public on relation between the two countries, the promotion of cooperation on exchange of arts and sports, and the possibility of opening a new border point at Stung Bot for trade promotion between the two nations.
Meanwhile, Prak Sokhon said the two prime ministers also planned to meet in other two meetings later, one is in ASEM Summit in Brussels and another is the ASEAN Summit in Hanoi for further discussion of the relations between the two countries.
Cambodia and Thailand has had border conflict just one week after Cambodia’s Preah Vihear Temple was registered as World Heritage Site on July 15, 2008.
Since the conflict started, military standoff has been on and off along the two countries’ border and several military clashes have already happened with recorded small causalities from both sides.
The Cambodian-Thai border has never been fully demarcated, and Thailand continues to stake territorial claims of the 4.6-square- kilometer area in the vicinity of the Temple of Preah Vihear, which the International Court of Justice on June 15, 1962 ruled in favor of Cambodia, saying Preah Vihear Temple belonged to Cambodia.