Cambodia has already prepared itself to cooperate with Thailand on troop withdrawals from the newly defined demilitarized zone surrounding the Preah Vihear temple, Cambodian Ministry of Defense quote by Xinhua.
“Royal Cambodian Armed Forces will cooperate closely with Royal Thai Army to end the two countries’historic track of nightmare period and is looking forward to building a new era of peace, cooperation, fraternity, and friendship between the two neighbors for the interests of both sides’peoples,” said a statement from the Defense Ministry on Tuesday.
The statement was issued after Thai Defense Minister Gen. Yutthasak Sasiprapa said that the Indonesian observers’ roles in the provisional demilitarized zone (PDZ) were mentioned in the International Court of Justice’s ruling and they are necessary to monitor a ceasefire.
“The observers are crucial because someone has to be there to witness the developments of the demilitarization and those observers will be good witnesses,” the Bangkok Post online newspaper quoted Gen. Yutthasak as saying on Monday.
“The spokesman for Cambodian Ministry of Defense welcomes and highly appreciates Gen. Yutthasak Sasiprapa’s remarks,” said the statement.
The ICJ on July 18 ordered Cambodia and Thailand to immediately withdraw their military personnel currently present in the PDZ around the area of Preah Vihear temple and also ordered both parties to continue cooperating within ASEAN and allow appointed observers access to the PDZ.
The PDZ covers the area of about 17 kilometers.
Cambodia and Thailand have had sporadic border conflict over territorial dispute near the Preah Vihear temple since the UNESCO listed Cambodia’s Preah Vihear temple as a World Heritage Site on July 7, 2008.
Since then, both sides have built up military forces along the border and periodic clashes have happened, resulting in the deaths of troops and civilians on both sides.
However, the border tension between the two countries has been eased since the former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s Pheu Thai Party won a landslide victory in the July 3’s general elections.