I held informal discussions on 22 July 2008 with ASEAN Foreign Ministers to discuss the latest developments in the Preah Vihear issue. Both Cambodia and Thailand reiterated that they were committed to a peaceful resolution of the issue and assured me that the General Border Commission would continue to meet, and that the next meeting would be held in the near future.
The ASEAN FMs had earlier offered ASEAN’s facilities at the disposal of Cambodia and Thailand as they recognised the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the region. There was a proposal for an ASEAN Contact Group to help support the efforts of Thailand and Cambodia to find a peaceful resolution to the issue. The proposal found favour with a number of Foreign Ministers, but there was also a general view that the bilateral process should be allowed to continue, and there is still no consensus for the formation of such a group.
The ASEAN Foreign Ministers remain seized by the issue, and I have requested Cambodia and Thailand to provide an update at the next Informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in New York.
Thailand and Cambodia gave the assurance that they would exercise utmost restraint and resolve the issue amicably in the spirit of ASEAN solidarity and good neighbourliness. Both sides also reiterated that they would handle the situation in accordance with their ASEAN and international obligations.