Cambodia asks Thailand to remove barbed wire near disputed temple

Cambodia has asked Thailand to remove barbed wire from the area near the disputed Preah Vihear Temple, a senior government official said Monday.

Phay Siphan, spokesman for the Council of Ministers, told Kyodo News the Cambodian army sent a letter to the Thai side May 29 asking the Thais to remove 150 meters of barbed wire erected a day earlier in front of the temple.

He said the Thai army had erected the barbed wire just days after the Thai military overthrew the Thai government.

"We don't want to see any military action as a new bad message presented by the military government of Thailand, which is against the justice of the verdict by the International Court of Justice," he said.

He added the erection of the barbed wire has violated the decision by the ICJ concerning the area near Preah Vihear.

As of Monday, the Thai army had not removed the wire, but the situation along the border remains calm, according to Phay Siphan.

After the temple was designated a World Heritage site in 2008, Cambodian and Thai troops engaged in firefights over land around it, resulting in casualties on both sides.

Later, Cambodia submitted a petition to the ICJ and in November last year, the ICJ ruled in favor of Cambodia in its territorial dispute with Thailand over land adjoining the ancient temple near the Cambodian-Thai border.