Cambodia still wants Indonesian observers on border with Thailand

Despite contrary reports from Thailand, the Cambodian government has reiterated its desire for unarmed Indonesian observers to be dispatched to a demilitarised zone surrounding the disputed Preah Vihear temple on the Cambodia-Thaliand border.

Thailand's new Defence Minister Yutthasak Sasiprapa reportedly stated that sending the Indonesian observers, as ordered by the International Court of Justice, might not be necessary if Cambodia and Thailand could resolve the issue bilaterally.

On 18 July the ICJ ordered both countries to “immediately withdraw” all military forces from a newly-created demilitarised zone around the temple and allow Indonesian observers to monitor the ceasefire in the area.

However, Koy Kuong, spokesman for Cambodia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told the Phnom Penh Post, that both countries had to comply with the ruling. “Our position is that the two countries, Cambodia and Thailand, have to obey the ICJ’s ruling, and it is necessary to have the presence of Indonesian observers deployed for monitoring the withdrawal of troops,” he said.

Cambodia's Foreign Minister Hor Namhong has also invited his counterpart to meet, though Koy Kuong said no dates had been set yet.

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