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Indonesia hopes Cambodian- Thai border dispute could end with World Court’s order

PHNOM PENH, March 5 (Xinhua) — Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said Monday the country hoped that the border dispute between Cambodia and Thailand over the area next to the 11th century Preah Vihear temple would be solved by the order of International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the ASEAN’s unity spirit.

“Indonesia hopes to make good progress on the issue and we have positive momentum again that Thailand and Cambodia are able to resolve the matter in accordance with the ICJ’s order as well as with the aspiration of ASEAN,” he said in a joint press briefing after a meeting with Cambodia’s deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Meanwhile, Hor Namhong said that Cambodia and Thailand agreed to set up a Joint Working Group (JWG) on Dec. 21, 2011 in order to work and set timeframe for both sides’ troop withdrawal from the Provisional Demilitarized Zone (PDZ) on the disputed border near Preah Vihear temple.

“To date, the JWG is formed, but there is no meeting happened as Thai side is the host of the first meeting, but it does not convene the meeting so far,” he said. “Marty and I agreed that the JWG should be convened as soon as possible in order to set the date for troop pullout from the PDZ and to enable Indonesian observers to deploy at the area.”

Cambodia and Thailand have had sporadic border conflict over territorial dispute near Cambodia’s Preah Vihear temple since the UNESCO listed the temple as a World Heritage Site on July 7, 2008 and witnessed fierce clashes in February and April 2011.

On April 28, 2011, Cambodia submitted a request to the ICJ for interpretation of its judgment on June 15, 1962 in the case concerning the ancient temple. It was accompanied by an urgent request for provisional measures in which Cambodia demands Thailand immediately and unconditionally withdrawal of troops from area surrounding the ruins.

During the interval of waiting for the verdict interpretation, the ICJ ordered Cambodia and Thailand on July 18, 2011 to immediately withdraw their military personnel from the PDZ and allow ASEAN observers (Indonesians) to access to the PDZ to monitor ceasefire.

However, so far neither Cambodia nor Thailand has withdrawn their troops from the area.

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