Friday, 16 September 2011

Welcome to Cambodia: Thailand-Cambodia Relations With Bright Signal After Yingluck's Visit

Welcome to Cambodia: Thailand-Cambodia Relations With Bright Signal After Yingluck's Visit

The relationship between the two countries Cambodia and Thailand seem to have a bright signal after Thai Prime minister Yingluck's first visit.

Let track the news from Cambodia newspaper...

Relations back on track (Phnompenhpost)

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen had held a closed-door discussion with his Thai counterpart Yingluck Shinawatra after she arrived in Phnom Penh yesterday and the two had agreed to wide-ranging co-operation on trade, tourism, oil and gas in the Overlapping Claims Area, the Preah Vihear border and the imprisonment of two Thai nationals for spying, high-ranking Cambodian officials said.

Khieu Kanharith, Cambodia’s Minister of Information and spokesman for the government, told reporters about an hour after the meeting that Yingluck’s visit was a mission to bring the two countries closer together.

“The visit of Yingluck was a mission to restore diplomatic ties,” he said.

Hor Namhong, Cambodia’s Foreign Minister, told reporters that Yingluck and Hun Sen wanted to see Cambodian and Thai soldiers keep holding meetings with each other to develop a good environment and relationship before the deployment of Indonesian observers to the demilitarised zone created by the International Court of Justice in July.

“We can say that the negotiation was successful and in a good atmosphere, there was mutual understanding and we agreed to do whatever to continue facilitating all fields of co-operation for development,” Nor Namhong said.

“Samdach [Hun Sen] said Cambodia cannot withdraw troops from the 4.6 kilometre square area, and we will keep this issue for the ICJ. If the ICJ judges that the area belongs to Thailand, Cambodia will offer it to Thailand.”

Hor Namhong also said the Cambodian government would not be able to release jailed Thai pair Veera Somkwamkid and Ratree Pipattanapaiboon.

“Yingluck also raised the issue of the two Thais who are imprisoned in Cambodia, and Samdach [Hun Sen] said the government was monitoring the case. We would request the King for a reduction in their jail terms step by step, but they have to obey Cambodia’s laws and serve two-thirds of the jail term,” he said.

Hun Sen had asked Yingluck to resume public negotiations on the OCA, based on the memorandum of understanding signed in 2001 and using existing mechanisms, Hor Namhong said.

He added that more border gates with Thailand would need to be opened for the flow of trade and tourism.


More details...
Source: Phnompenhpost

Let read another news from VOA...

Yingluck Visit Boosts Thai-Cambodia Relations

Thailand’s recently elected Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has made her first official visit to Cambodia. The one-day trip marks a new start in bilateral relations, which have been poor in recent years.

Thai premier Yingluck Shinawatra and her Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen have begun the process of rebalancing matters between the two neighbors, after years of deterioration.

New allies?

Phnom Penh was openly thrilled in July when Yingluck’s party won Thailand’s general election and replaced the Abhisit government that Cambodia felt it could not work with.

Prime Minister Yingluck leads the political party of her brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, a former prime minister and an ally of Hun Sen.

Abhisit’s tenure saw relations between the two nations decline to their lowest point in years and was marked by an escalating war of words and a series of border clashes that left at least 28 dead this year. ASEAN group chair Indonesia led efforts to mediate a ceasefire.

And in July the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled both sides must withdraw troops from disputed land near the Preah Vihear temple.

Bilateral meeting

Cambodia’s Information Minister Khieu Kanharith says the two leaders discussed the issue in Phnom Penh.

"First of all, when we talk about border, prime minister [Hun Sen] says we have to follow the decision of the International Court, and also keep the role of the Indonesians," said Kanharith. "The Thai prime minister agreed."

Khieu Kanharith says Cambodia and Thailand have also agreed to work together to clamp down on cross-border crime.

Business trip

Thailand said it would send a group of businessmen to Cambodia later this year to try and boost trade and investment. Trade has been flat for the past year or two, while Thai investment into Cambodia collapsed.

Another bone of contention this year was the jailing in January of two Thai nationalists, Veera and Ratree, who crossed into Cambodia illegally. The two received sentences of six and eight years, and Phnom Penh has said many times since that they will not be entitled to release until serving at least two-thirds of their term.

But Khieu Kanharith hinted some movement might be forthcoming.

"As a message to the mother of Veera and the sister of Ratree, that the government is seeking the way to have the release of the two convicts according to Cambodian legal procedure," said Kanharith.

He said Cambodia's king is entitled to reduce sentences, even though the government would not.


In summary, Kanharith said the talks were fruitful.

Earlier, Cambodian government spokesman Koy Kuong had said he expected the visit to restore bilateral relations and cooperation in all fields, with an emphasis on resolving differences through dialogue.

Outstanding issues between the countries include demarcating disputed stretches of their border, a process that stalled under Abhisit, and how to share oil and gas in a 27,000-square-kilometer zone in the Gulf of Thailand.



I strongly hope that the relationship between Cambodia and Thailand will be back to normal as the period of former Thai's prime minister Thaksin's power...

My previous post about Cambodia Thailand: Yingluck and Thaksin visit Cambodia

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