Phnom Penh. The Cambodian government is satisfied with the ruling of the International Court of Justice that created yesterday a demilitarized zone around the Preah Vihear Temple [1, pdf] and asks Thailand not to obstruct Cambodia’s free access to the Temple or prevent it from providing fresh supplies to its non-military personnel, declared an official statement signed by Hor Namhong, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cambodia. [3, pdf in Khmer]
“The Kingdom of Cambodia hopes that the Kingdom of Thailand will follow, accept and respect the ruling of the International Court of Justice,” the statement said.
The Court confirmed also the role of ASEAN in the bilateral negotiations: “Cambodia and Thailand should continue their co-operation within ASEAN and, in particular, allow the observers appointed by that organization to have access to the provisional demilitarized zone.”
ASEAN, the Association of the South East Asian Nations of which Cambodia and Thailand are members, delegated Indonesia, current president of the group, as observer in the territorial conflict between the two kingdoms, but Thailand has preferred a bilateral dialogue without any third part involvement. With the ICJ ruling, Cambodia declared once more its support of Indonesia as the ASEAN appointed observer, which has also the endorsement of the United Nations.
The Thai reaction has been also rather positive, since Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said today that his country will start talks with Cambodia to coordinate the withdraw of troops from the demilitarized zone ordered by the Court.