Jakarta, 22 February 2011

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The ASEAN Foreign Ministers, under the Chairmanship of H.E. Dr Marty Natalegawa, Foreign Minister of Indonesia, today endorsed Cambodia and Thailand’s efforts to reach an amicable modality to avoid further armed clashes along their common border. The Ministers expressed their appreciation to Indonesia for agreeing to send observers to the affected areas of both sides of the border as requested. They further agreed that the Chair will inform the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) of the results of the historic meeting soon.

Cambodia and Thailand reported to the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting this afternoon at Gedung Pancasila that they had mutually achieved an agreement to avoid further violence along their common border in the area of the Hindu Temple of Preah Vihear. They pledged to resume their bilateral negotiations.

“The Meeting called upon Indonesia to engage appropriately to support the two countries’ efforts to resolve the tense situation. The positive outcome of the Meeting came after long and arduous efforts on all parties especially Minister Hor Namhong, Minister Kasit Piromya and Minister Marty Natalegawa,” said the Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dr Surin Pitsuwan.

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The Chair expressed his appreciation to all ASEAN Foreign Ministers, with whom he had consulted actively in the past two weeks. The Ministers also expressed their appreciation to Indonesia as Chair of ASEAN for its willingness to send observers. Indonesia agreed “to assist and support the parties in respecting their commitment to avoid further armed clashes between them, by observing and reporting accurately, as well as impartially on complaints of violations and submitting its findings to each party through Indonesia,” stated the Chairman.

The terms of reference for the observers will be based on Indonesia’s experiences in welcoming similar missions from ASEAN Member States in Timor-Leste in 1999 and Aceh in 2003-2005, and Indonesia’s own mission to Southern Philippines. The Chair will promptly propose a model for the two countries’ consideration.

The issue was raised at the UNSC on 14 February in New York and ASEAN efforts were encouraged to resolve the issue. The Chair will inform the UNSC of ASEAN’s efforts in this endeavour.

“This is certainly a historic day for ASEAN. It is a major step forward to our community building efforts – but it is only the beginning and we shall have many more challenges to overcome as we move towards ASEAN Community 2015,” the Secretary-General added.

“The Secretariat itself, while pledging full support for the Chair’s efforts and Cambodia and Thailand’s commitment for a peaceful resolution to their differences, is embarking upon a programme of capacity enhancement for managing similar challenges in the future,” Dr Surin concluded.

Please click here for the statement by the Chairman of ASEAN following the Informal Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of ASEAN.