Cambodian army asks Thailand to remove new barbed wire near Preah Vihear temple

Cambodian army asks Thailand to remove new barbed wire near Preah Vihear temple

PHNOM PENH, June 2 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia has accused the Thai troops of erecting a new barbed wire fence on land in front of the 11th century Preah Vihear temple and has asked Thai side to remove it, Koy Kuong, spokesman for the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Monday.

"Our military commander stationed around the temple has sent a letter demanding that the Thai army remove the barbed wire on May 29, one day after they built it," he told reporters. "So far, the Thai side has not removed it because they say they' re waiting for their military superiors to inspect the site and make decision," the spokesman said.

Koy Kuong said the barbed wire fence that Thai soldiers erected did not affect the sovereignty of Cambodia based on the Annex I map.

"The fence was erected in the Thai territory, but it violated a Memorandum of Understanding that Cambodia and Thailand signed in 2000, which states that both sides shall not develop in that ( disputed) area," he said.

The Thai erection of the 130-meter long barbed wire fence came just days after the Thai army imposed martial law in the country and seized control of the government in a coup late last month.

Cambodia and Thailand has had a bitter border row since July 2008 when the UNESCO inscribed the Cambodia's Preah Vihear temple on its World Heritage List, but Thailand claimed the ownership of 4.6 square km of scrub next to the temple.

The temple had become a flashpoint of armed clashes between the two countries' troops since then.

The Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled in November last year that Cambodia has sovereignty over the whole territory of the promontory of Preah Vihear temple.

To date, the two countries have not met and discussed the implementation of the ICJ's ruling.

Koy Kuong said the situation along the Cambodia-Thailand border is normal as of Monday.