Cambodia seeks help to avoid 'armed conflict' in border spat
PHNOM PENH, Aug 14, AFP - Cambodia's foreign minister on Saturday
sought regional help in resolving a border dispute with Thailand in
order "to avoid any large scale armed conflict".
In a letter to his Vietnamese counterpart and the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Hor Namhong said the two countries
would not be able to reach a deal without outside support. "As the
current stalemate has extinguished any hope of further bilateral
negotiations and in order to avoid any large scale armed conflict... I
earnestly seek assistance," he said in the letter. The two countries
have stepped up a war of words over the spat recently, with Cambodian
Prime Minister Hun Sen warning it could lead to fresh bloodshed.
Meanwhile Thai premier Abhisit Vejjajiva Tuesday called for Cambodian
citizens to leave the contested territory.
The World Court ruled in 1962 that the temple belonged to Cambodia,
although its main entrance lies in Thailand. The exact boundary through
the surrounding grounds remains in dispute, with occasional gunfights
claiming several lives.
Troops from both countries exchanged fire briefly on their border in
June, the latest in a series of clashes between the neighbours.
The Thai-Cambodia border has never been fully demarcated, partly
because it is littered with landmines left over from decades of war in