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Hun Sen Pushes for Three-Party Border Talks

A July 18, 2011 sketch-map by the International Court of Justice shows an area around Cambodia's Preah Vihear temple and surrounding territories claimed by Thailand, which the Court identifies as a 'Provisional Demilitarized Zone.' The July 18 ruling is t

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday insisted on three-party talks with Thailand and Indonesia in an effort to implement an international court ruling to resolve the border dispute near Preah Vihear temple.

The International Court of Justice ruled in favor of a demilitarized zone and an observer mission earlier this week.

Hun Sen told reporters Friday that Cambodia “demands the start of tripartite negotiation with working group of the three parties…to speed up the implementation process of the decision of the International Court of Justice.”

However, analysts have said that the court lacks enforcement measures for its decisions, meaning the protracted military standoff on the border is likely to continue for now.

Hun Sen said Friday that three-way negotiations could begin “at any time, at any place, and at any level.” That includes the General Border Committee of Thailand Cambodia, he said. “Cambodia would like to host a meeting to discuss efforts toward the implementation of the ICJ decision.”

Cambodia has sent a draft agreement to Thailand, Indonesia, the court and the UN Security Council, in an effort to define a demilitarized zone around the temple, he said.

The seven-point plan includes reporting progress to the court, plans for Indonesian observers, demarcation of a demilitarized zone, and a plan for the withdrawal of Thai and Cambodian military forces from the zone.

“We will start to withdraw the troops at the same hour, at the same time, and the Indonesian observer team can see all troops of both sides withdraw,” Hun Sen said.

The Bangkok Post reported Friday that Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva wants Cambodia to withdraw its forces ahead of the arrival of an observer mission. Thailand is meanwhile keeping its own forces in the disputed area pending further negotiations, the Post reported.