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08BANGKOK3208 THAILAND COMMITTED TO PEACEFUL RESOLUTION FOR BORDER DISPUTE WITH CAMBODIA

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“175082”,”10/24/2008 10:16″,”08BANGKOK3208″,

“Embassy Bangkok”,”CONFIDENTIAL”,””,

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“C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02

BANGKOK 003208

 

SIPDIS

 

STATE FOR EAP/MLS

NSC FOR PHU

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/24/2018

TAGS: PREL, PGOV, TH, CB

SUBJECT: THAILAND COMMITTED TO PEACEFUL RESOLUTION FOR

BORDER DISPUTE WITH CAMBODIA

 

Classified By: Ambassador Eric G. John, reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

 

1. (C) Summary. Supreme Commander General Songkitti

Jaggabartra October 24 told the Ambassador that Cambodia

recently had reinforced troops near Preah Vihear temple.

Nevertheless, the Thai government remained committed to a

peaceful resolution to the dispute. Songkitti said the

United Nations had recently given the final approval for

Thailand to deploy a battalion of troops to Darfur and the

Thai military was targeting deployment for May 2009.

Songkitti promised to continue to work closely with the

international community to insure fair and transparent

processing of Lao Hmong refugees in Thailand.

 

2. (C) Comment. October 24 meetings between the two sides\’

Prime Ministers in Beijing on the margins of ASEM and by

local military commanders in Cambodia are positive movements

for the border dispute. More telling, however, will be

whether Thailand and Cambodia can make tangible progress when

the Joint Border Commission (JBC) begins talks. The Thai

Parliament is expected to consider next week the August 19

provisional framework that provides for bilateral

negotiations through the JBC. End comment.

 

THAI GOVERNMENT MAINTAINS BILATERAL TALKS ARE KEY

——————————————— —

 

3. (C) Royal Thai Armed Forces (RTARF) Supreme Commander

General Songkitti Jaggabartra October 24 told the Ambassador

(accompanied by Poloff) that Cambodia had sent more troops

and weapons to the area near the disputed territory around

the Preah Vihear temple. The Thai military believed that

there were now approximately 2,700 or 2,800 Cambodian troops

situated in low lands below the temple. The Cambodian

military had also deployed six multiple rocket launchers and

several 130 millimeter artillery pieces to the area in recent

days. Despite these actions, the Thai military believed that

a peaceful solution would be found. Therefore, the Thai

military only maintained approximately 600 Thai troops on the

Thai side of the border in the area near the temple.

 

4. (C) The Thai government and military remained committed to

resolving the problem bilaterally through negotiations,

Songkitti said. A meeting of the countries\’ Prime Ministers

in Beijing and ongoing military talks through the Regional

Border Committee were positive steps toward a peaceful

solution. Involvement by the international community would

not be necessary, Songkitti told the Ambassador, because the

JBC would provide for direct bilateral talks.

 

CAMBODIAN POLITICS A CONCERN

—————————-

 

5. (C) Songkitti believed that the underlying problem in the

border dispute was that Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen was

dealing with heightened domestic political demands and was

using Preah Vihear to deflect the demands. Despite the

success of Hun Sen\’s party in the late-July election, other

political actors in Cambodia were demanding increased roles

in the political process. Hun Sen understood the recent

history of politics in Southeast Asia in that leaders who had

been in power for extended periods of time, such as Marcos

and Suharto, saw their dominance increasingly challenged as

years passed, Songkitti explained.

 

THAILAND TO WORK WITH THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY ON HMONG

——————————————— ————-

 

6. (SBU) The Ambassador reiterated the USG view that a

transparent screening process was needed for Hmong refugees

in Petchabun. Songkitti promised to continue to work closely

with the USG and the international community to insure that

the Hmong would be treated fairly, both in Thailand and in

 

BANGKOK 00003208 002 OF 002

 

Laos for those that choose to return. The RTARF was

continuing discussions with the Vientiane government to

insure that the Hmong who wanted to go back to Laos would be

provided education and other social services in order that

they could lead normal lives.

 

THAILAND EXPECTS TO DEPLOY TO DARFUR IN MAY-JULY NEXT YEAR

——————————————— ————-

 

7. (SBU) Songkitti told the Ambassador that United Nations

had recently given formal approval to Thailand to deploy a

battalion of troops to Darfur. Necessary training for the

troops has already commenced and the RTARF is targeting a May

2009 deployment to UNAMID.

JOHN

Written by thaicables

July 19, 2011 at 6:09 am

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