After the ICJ issued a ruling (as blogged about here), (1) temporarily creating a demilitarized zone around Preah Vihear with Thailand and Cambodia being required to immediately withdraw troops from the DMZ, and (2) that there should be ASEAN observers in the DMZ, Cambodia has got in first by announcing their response.
Xinhua has a statement from the Cambodian government:
“The government of Cambodia totally supports the Court’s decision,” said the statement. “The order entirely responded to Cambodia’s desire to make the area of the Preah Vihear temple peaceful with the presence of ASEAN observers to ensure a ceasefire.”
“The order will also ensure a normalcy of civilian activities at the area.”
It added that the government hopes that the government of Thailand will also comply with the Court’s order.
“Cambodia has already prepared to welcome and facilitate all missions of Indonesian observers to the area,” it said.
Cambodia’s foreign minister, Hor Namhong, welcomed the decision and said the setting up of the demilitarized zone would help to establish peace.
“This map means there will be a permanent ceasefire. It will be tantamount to the cessation of aggression of Thailand against Cambodia,” he said in the Hague.
Thailand’s Foreign Minister, Kasit Piromya, yesterday said his country would honour the ICJ ruling. “We are satisfied in the sense that the decision of the withdrawal of the troops is applicable to both Cambodia and Thailand,” he said.
Although Thailand had urged the ICJ to dismiss the case, Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said his government was ‘satisfied’ with Monday’s ruling. ‘It will be up to the new government to handle further negotiations with Cambodia,’ said Kasit, who had travelled to the Hague to hear the court’s ruling.
However, not all Ministers were of the same view per the NYT:
And Suwit Khunkitti, a Thai government minister who had based a recent election campaign on Thailand’s rights to the temple, failed to win a seat in the July 3 election.
Mr. Suwit, the acting minister for natural resources and the environment, said Monday that he disagreed with the verdict and that Thailand did not “have to follow it if it is a violation of the country’s sovereignty.”
MCOT has the Thai military response:
When asked whether he will discuss the ruling with his Cambodian counterpart, Gen Prawit said he is ready to hold talks if asked by Cambodia.
“But I understand that Cambodia may wait after the new Thai government is formed,” said Gen Prawit.
Army Region 2 commander Lt Gen Thawatchai Samutsakorn, who oversees the disputed border area, said troop withdrawal could not be done in the next few days as there are various levels of working steps.
Gen Thawatchai explained that a troop withdrawal cannot proceed immediately as it will take time for both Thailand and Cambodia.
“For Thailand, we must also wait for the formation of the new government and its direction regarding the case”, the commander said, noting that any command is ordered step by step from the government to the army chief, who then instructs the operational level.
Finally, The Nation has Abhisit’s response:
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said Thailand would not pull its troops out of the zone until it consulted with agencies and Cambodia on how to comply with the order.
The Thai government was satisfied with the injunction against armed occupation of the zone, as it did not cause the loss of Thai territory, he said.
“I make it clear that the world court’s decision is not binding on Thai sovereignty (over the territory) and the Joint Boundary Commission is the best forum to discuss the border issue,” he said.
BP: There is some discussion over who withdraws from where and when, but the court’s decision is quite clear on the area of the DMZ and for immediate withdrawal so is there really much to negotiate? So will we have delayed withdrawal pending the new government being sworn in?