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08BANGKOK3376 PROGRESS IN THAI-CAMBODIAN BORDER TALKS

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“178301”,”11/14/2008 9:23″,”08BANGKOK3376″,

“Embassy Bangkok”,”CONFIDENTIAL”,

“08BANGKOK2487|08BANGKOK3227|08BANGKOK3234|

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

BANGKOK 003376

 

SIPDIS

 

STATE FOR EAP/MLS

NSC FOR PHU

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/14/2018

TAGS: PREL, PGOV, PBTS, TH, CB

SUBJECT: PROGRESS IN THAI-CAMBODIAN BORDER TALKS

 

REF: A. BANGKOK 3366

B. BANGKOK 3234

C. BANGKOK 3227

D. BANGKOK 2487

 

Classified By: Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Robert D. Griffiths, reas

ons 1.4 (b) and (d)

 

1. (C) Summary: Thai and Cambodian Foreign Ministers agreed

November 12 to a series of measures that will initiate the

process of delineating disputed border areas. The two sides

prioritized settling overlapping claims adjacent to the Preah

Vihear temple for survey work scheduled to begin in December.

Separately, Thailand\’s counter corruption body decided

November 13 that members of former Prime Minister Samak\’s

cabinet allegedly violated Article 190 of the Constitution.

The decision stems from the Cabinet\’s endorsement earlier

this year of a Thai-Cambodian joint communique supporting

Cambodia\’s application to list Preah Vihear as a World

Heritage site.

 

2. (C) Comment. The recent calm in the vicinity of Preah

Vihear and the agreements worked out this week are positive

signs. For the time being at least both sides appear to

understand that heightened tensions or further clashes would

not serve their interests in resolving the dispute.

Nonetheless, the agreements this week concern process and do

not touch upon the most sensitive issues. Difficult

decisions, such as compromise on overlapping claims in the

4.6 square kilometer disputed territory in the vicinity of

Preah Vihear temple, remain unaddressed and could lead to a

prolonged, contentious negotiation. The counter corruption

commission\’s finding against the Samak cabinet underscores

the restrictions that the Thai government must contend with

and points to what will likely be another impediment to quick

resolution of the dispute. It is not yet clear whether the

commission\’s finding will result in indictments. End summary

and comment.

 

PROCEDURAL PROGRESS IN BORDER DELINEATION TALKS

——————————————— —

 

3. (U) Thai and Cambodian negotiators made progress in

setting up mechanisms to delineate their disputed border

during November 10-11 Joint Border Commission (JBC) meetings

in Siam Reap, Cambodia. Thai Foreign Minister Sompong

Amornvivat and Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong

November 12 endorsed the JBC measures but could not agree on

the name to use in referring to the temple in official

documents. Thai officials insisted on using both the Thai

(Phra Viharn) and Khmer name (Preah Vihear) for the temple

because the Thai Parliament had used only the Thai name in

approving the border talks. Cambodian officials maintained

that the temple is internationally recognized by its Khmer

name and should therefore be called that name. Sompong said

publicly that consultation with the Thai Parliament is

required before proceeding on the issue of the name.

 

4. (U) The two sides agreed to prioritize delineating the

disputed border area adjacent to Preah Vihear temple, work

together to reduce troops in the temple area, and to use the

1904 and 1907 Siam-French treaties to help resolve the border

dispute. Hor Namhong and the chief Thai negotiator, Vasin

Teeravechyan, said publicly that joint surveying teams would

begin work to delineate the border around Preah Vihear temple

in mid-December. The two sides agreed to hold the next round

of JBC talks in January and to set up a temporary

coordinating task force to reduce the risk of further border

clashes.

 

5. (C) Mongkol Visitstump, Counselor in the Department of

East Asian Affairs at the Thai Foreign Ministry, told us the

meetings went well and much progress was made in determining

 

BANGKOK 00003376 002 OF 002

 

the relevant treaties and documents — most importantly the

1904 and 1907 Siam-French treaties concerning the border —

to be used in future negotiations. Mongkol said that

priority would be placed on surveying the area around the

Preah Vihear temple in order to re-establish boundary posts

that had been set by a French-Siamese Mixed Commission during

1904-1907. (Note: 73 markers were originally placed along

what is now the Thai-Cambodian border. MFA Permanent

Secretary Virasakdi Futrakul previously told the Ambassador

that only 50 markers remain (Ref C). End note.)

 

6. (C) Mongkol said the temporary coordinating task force

would include representatives from various agencies and would

try to forge an agreement to re-deploy troops away from the

pagoda inside the Preah Vihear and from the temple grounds.

The Royal Thai Army\’s Second Army Regional Commander

Lieutenant General Wiboonsak Nepal and the Cambodian Fourth

Army Commander would lead these discussions, Mongkol said.

 

NCCC FINDING ON FORMER CABINET OVER PREAH VIHEAR

——————————————— —

 

7. (U) Separately, the Thai National Counter Corruption

Commission (NCCC) November 13 found fault with the actions of

28 members of former Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej\’s

cabinet for allegedly violating Article 190 of the

Constitution in endorsing a communique that supported

Cambodia\’s bid to list Preah Vihear Temple as a World

Heritage site. Samak and former Foreign Minister Noppadon

Pattama were among those subject to this decision; their

alleged offense was that they participated in a Cabinet

meeting that decided to endorse the agreement signed by

Noppadon and Cambodia\’s Deputy Premier Sok An rather than to

submit the communique to Parliament for approval. It is not

yet clear whether the NCCC decision will result in formal

indictments by prosecutorial authorities against any or all

concerned.

JOHN

Written by thaicables

July 19, 2011 at 6:21 am

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