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08PHNOMPENH631 PREAH VIHEAR: GAG ORDER

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“164299”,”7/31/2008 11:21″,”08PHNOMPENH631″,

“Embassy Phnom Penh”,

“UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY”,

“08BANGKOK2294″,”VZCZCXRO0337

OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH

DE RUEHPF #0631 2131121

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

O 311121Z JUL 08

FM AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE

INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK IMMEDIATE 2595

RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING IMMEDIATE 2528

RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS IMMEDIATE 0078

RUEHHI/AMEMBASSY HANOI IMMEDIATE 4060

RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE 0447

RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW IMMEDIATE 0410

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS IMMEDIATE 0634

RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE IMMEDIATE 0827

RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0104

RUEKDIA/DIA WASH DC IMMEDIATE

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE”,”UNCLAS PHNOM PENH 000631

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

PARIS PLEASE ALSO PASS TO US MISSION TO UNESCO, NSC FOR

PHU, DEPT FOR D, EAP, AND L

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PREL, PGOV, UNESCO, SCUL, MOPS, PBTS, TH, CB

SUBJECT: PREAH VIHEAR: GAG ORDER?

REF: BANGKOK 2294

1. (SBU) Summary: The Cambodian government circulated the

same summary of Monday\’s Siem Reap meeting as provided by the

RTG to Embassy Bangkok (Ref A.) Throughout this busy,

post-election week, Cambodian officials have been notably

silent on the subject of Preah Vihear. Prime Minister Hun

Sen told the press that Cambodia is prepared to draw back

troops from the disputed area at the same time that Thailand

does, but avoided any lengthy discussion of when such

withdrawals might begin. A senior contact explained this

reticence as giving the Thai government room to maneuver

vis-a-vis their domestic critics, but expressed hope that a

follow-on bilateral meeting will be confirmed for August 7.

The situation on the ground remains a stalemate. End

summary.

2. (SBU) Ministry of Foreign Affairs Secretary of State Long

Visalo, who has participated in both rounds of bilateral

negotiations, told the DCM July 30 that his government has

imposed \”an instruction of silence\” about ongoing bilateral

negotiations on Preah Vihear. Visalo noted that the Council

of Ministers has distributed to diplomatic missions the press

points jointly communicated by both governments following the

July 28 bilateral meeting. Visalo said the RTG had asked the

RGC not to talk too much about the issue while the new Thai

FM seeks support within his government and more broadly for

the way ahead mapped out in Siem Reap. Visalo said other,

more difficult issues had been discussed in the Siem Reap

session — such as the disposition of the squatter\’s village.

However, he said the RGC did not want to spoil the positive

spirit or endanger the Thai ability to move ahead by

previewing too much too quickly.

3. (SBU) While the usually voluble Visalo was notably

reticient at the start of the conversation, he concluded with

two \”small worries.\” First, he said Cambodian officials were

actively engaged with Thailand to set a date for the next

bilateral meeting. They had proposed August 1, but that had

not worked for the Thai delegation. They were still waiting

for information on whether August 7 would work. Visalo

expressed concern that the Thais were trying to quietly and

slowly change the facts on the ground, and speculated it

might be many months before the bilateral meetings resolved

the \”still-very real issue\” of soldiers cheek-to-jowl in the

disputed area. He also expressed concern about what he

described as Thai \”comparability\” — citing as an example

Thai insistence that if Cambodian monks remained in the

pagoda, negotiated language must state that Thai monks would

remain as well (despite the fact that there are no Thai monks

there presently.) The Cambodians continue to argue that the

1962 ICJ decision — and the Court\’s instruction\’s to

Thailand to withdraw its troops — resolves questions of the

border placement in the Preah Vihear area. But, they worry

that as international attention to the standoff diminishes,

the situation on the ground will become a prolonged and

problematic stalemate.

MUSSOMELI

Written by thaicables

July 18, 2011 at 6:49 am

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