Ministers meet over temple row

Thailand and Cambodia enter high-level talks to break stalemate in border dispute.

    Tej, right, was optimistic about the second round of talks with Cambodia [AFP]

    "I hope that the result of the talks will be positive," Tej Bunnag, Thailand's newly-appointed foreign minister, said ahead of Monday's meeting.

    Thai and Cambodian officials say neither side expected a quick resolution but hoped to lay out a plan for tackling unresolved border issues.

    UN help

    Following the failed first meeting in Bangkok Cambodia sought help from the United Nations Security Council, but later agreed to a second meeting with Thailand.

    Hor Namhong, Cambodia's foreign minister, said he hoped the fresh round of dialogue would end the impasse but warned that his government will pursue the case at the UN if talks failed again.

    Negotiations last week quickly ended in an argument over which map drawn up over the last 100 years should be used to settle ownership of the temple and the surrounding area.

    Despite the long-standing conflict, Thailand accepted a ruling by the International Court of Justice that awarded the temple to Cambodia in 1962.

    But ties turned hostile again recently after Unesco, the UN cultural organisation, listed Preah Vihear as a World Heritage site.

    The current conflict focuses on an area about 5 sq km of scrubland surrounding the 11th century Khmer-era temple.

    Concerns over Preah Vihear also helped boost the victory of Cambodia's ruling party in Sunday's general elections.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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