Border dispute resolution hinted

One of the key problems of the ongoing border dispute between Thailand and Cambodia has been the question over which map to use – now back from the recent ASEAN summit, Cambodia’s Foreign Minister has said that the two countries are agreeable to using an early 20th century map for referendum – and possibly a resolution to the standoff at Preah Vihear.

Border resolution near
Phnom Penh Post, 02 March 2009

Hor Namhong said Prime Minister Hun Sen had met his Thai counterpart, Abhisit Vejjajiva, in a bilateral meeting on Friday, and they had agreed to use the memorandum signed between the two countries in 2000.

The agreement states that the Joint Border Commission should use maps drafted in 1904 and 1907 – ratified by Siam (as Thailand was then known) and France, Cambodia’s former colonial power – to delineate the common border.

“I think if Thailand has a clear stance and is willing to use the 2000 MoU, there will be no further difficulties in the future,” Hor Namhong told reporters at Phnom Penh International Airport. “We decided to resolve the [border] issue peacefully.”

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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