will need the utmost cooperation from Thailand if an ongoing, potentially
deadly, border standoff is to be resolved, a cabinet spokesman said Monday.
Thousands of Thai and Cambodian troops remain stationed on
the border, centered around border temples in Preah Vihear and Oddar Meanchey
provinces. Political instability in Thailand between opposition
supporters and an embattled government have made negotiations difficult.
However, Phay Siphan, spokesman for the Council of
Ministers, said Thursday bilateral talks would continue.
"We wish Thailand
to stop confrontations or any intentions to shoot in the area of Preah Vihear
temple," he said, as a guest on "Hello VOA."
maintains that a portion of the temple was damaged in Oct. 15 fighting between
small groups of soldiers. Thailand
denies the claim. At least three Cambodian and one Thai soldier was killed in
Along with preventing more violence, Cambodia wants
to ensure the temple is damaged no further, Phay Siphan said.
Preah Vihear temple was granted World Heritage protection by
Unesco July 7, which led to protests in Bagkok and at the temple and the
eventual occupation of a nearby pagoda, claimed by Cambodia, by Thai troops. Both
sides then massed high numbers of heavily armed troops along the border,
leading to the current deadlock.
Phay Siphan said Unesco officials would hold a ceremony at
Preah Vihear temple
Nov. 7 aimed at decreasing the military tension.
Talks will be held between military commanders on border
committees from both sides Nov. 10.
Such talks have so far failed to lead to any meaningful
withdrawal of troops, amid worries that a protracted standoff could lead to