Friday, March 15, 2013

ICJ defence plan to head to cabinet

Mar 15, 2013
Bangkok Post

The Foreign Ministry will submit the Thai position to be presented at court hearings on the Preah Vihear dispute to the cabinet on April 2.
This map was prepared by the ICJ in 2011 as a proposed demilitarised zone for Thai and Cambodian troops.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said Thursday the ministry will ask for opinions from the cabinet before the Thai team leaves for the International Court of Justice (ICJ) hearings at the Hague in the Netherlands on April 15-19.

Mr Surapong said approval will be sought regarding a live translation from French to Thai at the oral hearings, which will be broadcast via internet from the court.

The hearings will be conducted in French.

He said a translated broadcast in Thai should be aired so the public can receive information directly from the court. That would avoid any misinterpretation in media reports, he said.

The ministry will also brief the public about Thailand and Cambodia's positions at the end of each day of the hearing.

Meanwhile, Mr Surapong said Thailand is planning to develop a special economic zone (SEZ) in Poipet and Koh Kong with Cambodia, similar to the SEZ to be developed with Myanmar in Mae Sot. Under the plan, Thailand will develop transport links between the two countries and upgrade border checkpoints, he said.
Cooperation on agriculture, health, human resources and industrial development will also be part of the plan.
Mr Surapong said Thai and Cambodian officials will talk in detail before he meets his Cambodian counterpart, Hor Namhong, in May or June to discuss the plan.

Mr Surapong said the Defence Ministry will also hold talks with Cambodian officials on illegal logging of Siamese rosewood along the border and will set up a patrol police unit to stamp out the activity.

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