Friday, November 27, 2009

Cambodian defence minister: No closure of Cambodian waters

CHONBURI, Nov 27 (TNA) - Cambodia's Defence Minister Gen Tea Banh on Friday asserted that Cambodia has not closed its waters near Koh Kong as earlier reported, saying that the fisheries concession is now being amended and that it will not affect the livelihood of the peoples.

Gen Tea Banh commented as he held a news conference with Thai Defence Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan regarding the conclusion of the Thai-Cambodian General Border Committee (GBC) meeting in the Thai coastal province of Chonburi.

The Cambodian general said he wants to clarify the matter in the Thai language as it is about the livelihood in the matter of water boundaries.

He insisted Cambodia has not closed its waters, but there is now an amendment of the fisheries concession, saying everything will be done without causing any trouble to the Thai trawlers.

"I reaffirm that we will try to avoid doing things which (negatively) affect the daily life and the living of peoples to prevent any dispute," said Cambodian defence minister. "There has been some adjustment of concession regulations recently, and if the licence has expired, fishermen can ask for renewal of their licence without any problem."

Gen Tea Banh said that nothing can deter peoples from making their living and that Cambodia is trying to pushing the matter. However, he could not specify when the adjustment process would be completed.

Regarding the result of the border panel meeting, the Thai Defence Minister said that the two countries have agreed that their deployed armed forces along the borders will use peaceful means to resolve conflicts regardless of whether they are waters or land boundaries, while encouraging coordination between the authorities of both countries at every level.

Gen Prawit said the militaries of both nations will also facilitate the travel of Thai and Cambodian citizens in and out both kingdoms, allowing them to trade and meet at their convenience.

"The armed forces of the two countries also agreed to maintain good relations between them and between the citizens of the two countries," said Gen Prawit, "while respecting international law practices amd agreements with good understanding, sincerity and equality."

The Thai and Cambodian armies will support every level of international relationship mechanism to maintain their ties with the supreme goal, the safety of the citizens, and sustainable peace along the Thai-Cambodian borders. (TNA)

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