BANGKOK, Sept 15 (TNA) - Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said Tuesday that he had assigned Minister of Foreign Affairs Kasit Piromya to meet with the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) and local residents to understand the government's stance to use peaceful means to resolve border disputes between Thailand and Cambodia.
The PAD said it would lead villagers to the border province of Si Sa Ket on Saturday to protest against the Cambodian government, urging the Khmers to withdraw their military and civilians from occupying the contested 4.6 square kilometre contested zone surrounding Preah Vihear, the 11th-century temple.
The prime minister affirmed that the government had no hidden agenda in resolving border disputes with Cambodian government and the involved cabinet ministers were trying to make the people who wanted to use more drastic action to resolve problems to understand that the solution must be found at the negotiating table by strictly following agreements made by the two countries under the United Nations charter.
He urged the public to give the authorities an opportunity to work and refrain from taking any risk that could lead to a clash between the two countries as it would do no good for either party.
"I can guarantee 100 per cent that the government will not do anything that could affect our sovereignty or territory. The government has no hidden agenda or hidden benefit in dealing with Cambodia," he said.
That future approaches to resolving the border disputes would be carried out in accordance with the existing legal framework and negotiations would be made to bring back the situation that both sides living together peacefully, the prime minister said.
The ruins of the temple itself belong to Cambodia, but the most practical entrance begins at the foot of a mountain in Thailand, and both sides claim portions of the surrounding territory.
The International Court of Justice ruled in 1962 that Preah Vihear itself belongs to Cambodia. Tensions flared along the border in July 2008 after the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) granted Cambodia’s ancient temple status as a World Heritage Site. (TNA)