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Compliance on border ruling

THAILAND: Thailand will respect the ruling of the United Nations’ highest court on whether it must withdraw troops from a border area at the centre of a deadly row with Cambodia, an official said Tuesday.

Friday 10 June 2011, 01:47AM

“Of course we will comply with the decision of the court,” said Ittiporn Boonpracong, Director-General of the Foreign Ministry’s Department of Treaties and Legal Affairs.

“We are not compelled to comply but we will comply,” he said, arguing that the case is not within the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Cambodia last month launched a legal bid at the court, based in The Hague, seeking to force Thailand to pull troops from a strip of disputed land near the ancient Preah Vihear temple.

Ittiporn said he expected a decision in three or four weeks on the request, which followed two episodes of fierce border fighting between the two countries earlier this year that left 28 people dead.

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“Look at 1962, even though we disagreed with a number of legal issues, as a member of the UN we complied fully,” Ittiporn added.

The court ruled in 1962 that the 900-year-old temple itself belonged to Cambodia but both Phnom Penh and Bangkok claim ownership of a 4.6-square-kilometre patch of nearby land.

Cambodia in April asked the ICJ to clarify that ruling and in the meantime asked for the urgent troop withdrawal. -AFP



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