Thursday, November 26, 2009

Surakiart: Bangkok should open talks

Bangkok Post

The Thai government should make the first move to open talks with Cambodia on resolving the dispute between the two countries, former foreign minister Surakiart Sathirathai said on Thursday.

Speaking at a seminar on Cambodian issues at the faculty of political science of Chulalongkorn University, Mr Surakiart said there were many factors contributing to the continuing rift between the two countries. These included past conflicts, overlapping maritime areas, the border dispute around the ancient Preah Vihear Temple and Thailand's political problems, especially the activities of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Nationalistic tensions on both sides should be reduced and the Thai government should revise its strengths, weaknesses and bargaining power in analysing the Cambodian government's next move, he said.

"The Thai government should organise bilateral talks with other countries to clarify the Thai-Cambodian situation," Mr Surakiart said. "The Thai government should also make the first move and approach the Cambodian government in a show of seniority and pressure the Cambodian government to explain different bilateral issues."

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