UN willing to meet on Cambodia-Thai clashes
UNITED NATIONS (AFP) – The UN Security Council Monday voiced concern about four days of cross-border fighting between Cambodia and Thailand and said it would be willing to hold a meeting on the dispute.
”Members of the council expressed great concern at the aggravation of the tension on the border,” said Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, the Brazilian ambassador who is president of the Security Council for February.
”They called for a ceasefire and urged the parties to resolve the situation peacefully,” she said of the fighting which has claimed seven lives and displaced thousands.
”They expressed their willingness to hold a Security Council meeting,” she said, adding they will continue to follow the situation closely.”
Earlier, Cambodia called on the council to take ”urgent” action over the border conflict with Thailand.
”They expressed support to the mediation undertaken by the chair of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), the minister of foreign affairs of Indonesia,” Viotti said, adding envoys from the 15 nations on the council had held closed door consultations talks.
Cambodian and Thai troops clashed Monday for a fourth straight day, after heavy fighting on Sunday when a ceasefire agreed a day earlier collapsed. The violence is the worst clashes between the two neighbours in years.
Both sides have accused each other of starting the fighting.
Cambodia and Thailand have written to the Security Council on the hostilities, diplomats said.
Cambodia sent two letters to the Security Council on the conflict over the weekend, one of which demanded ”urgent” action, said a diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen has called for UN troops to be sent to set up a buffer zone on the contested border. It was not clear however if this demand was put in the Cambodian letters.