News / Asia

Thailand, Cambodia Agree to Indonesian Observers at Border

Thai women and children walk to a waiting bus to transport them home after sporadic fighting between Thai and Cambodian troops was reported at a refugee camp in Surin province, northeastern Thailand, May 2, 2011
Thai women and children walk to a waiting bus to transport them home after sporadic fighting between Thai and Cambodian troops was reported at a refugee camp in Surin province, northeastern Thailand, May 2, 2011
Brian Padden

Ahead of a regional summit, Indonesia's foreign minister has said Thailand and Cambodia agreed to allow Indonesian monitors to go to the border between the two countries to help prevent further military clashes.

In his role as the chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa on Friday said there has been a breakthrough in ASEAN's efforts to mediate an end to the Thai-Cambodia border conflict.

"I can report to all of you that the two sides have agreed to the terms of reference for the observer team, the Indonesian observer team that we have been discussing for several weeks now," said Natalegawa.  "That is a done thing in the sense that the negotiations have been concluded.  Cambodia has formally acceded or formally agreed to the terms of reference.  Thailand has also agreed to it but they are yet to fully conclude the formal exchange of documents."

The terms of reference include how many Indonesian observers will be dispatched and the specific areas along the border where they will operate.

Since February, more than 20 people have died in repeated clashes between the two ASEAN members along their disputed border. Tens of thousands of people have fled their homes on both sides of the border.

The heart of the disagreement is a 900-year-old Hindu Khmer temple known as Preah Vihear in Cambodia and Prah Viharn in Thailand.  The temple sits in Cambodia, but Thailand claims adjacent land that includes a key access route to the complex.  The countries have fought sporadically over the border since 2008.

Natalegawa met with foreign ministers of the other ASEAN nations Friday. On Saturday, ASEAN national leaders begin a two-day summit in Jakarta.

The Indonesian foreign minister says talks Friday included the question of Burma's request to take over the chairmanship of ASEAN in 2014.  Human Rights Watch objects to the idea of Burma (also called Myanmar) leading the association, given it says, the country's long record of human rights abuses and its lack of democratic development.

While the ASEAN heads of states will decide if Burma's bid is accepted, Natalegawa said some concerns were expressed at the ministerial level.

"The state of readiness of Myanmar to chair ASEAN in 2014, which is quite a critical year for ASEAN, on the eve of its community in 2015, the state of readiness extends beyond practical arrangements readiness but also other dimensions that we need to ascertain ourselves," added Natalegawa.

Burma passed up its chance to take the rotating chairmanship in 2005, after the United States and European Union threatened to boycott ASEAN events if Burma's government was at the helm.

Natalegawa says the foreign ministers also addressed the issue of the South China Sea where China and some ASEAN countries have competing claims to small islands and areas believed to be rich in oil. He says ASEAN and China are continuing to work together to develop a declaration of conduct to help resolve disputes.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid