UN Security Council urges ceasefire after latest Thai-Cambodia clashes

Written by: Bno
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UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations (UN) Security Council on Monday urged the South-East Asian neighbors of Cambodia and Thailand to establish a permanent ceasefire following closed-door talks on the recent armed clashes between the countries.

"The members of the Security Council called on the two sides to display maximum restraint and avoid any action that may aggravate the situation," Ambassador Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti of Brazil, which holds the monthly presidency of the 15-member body for February, said during a press conference.

"The members of the Security Council further urged the parties to establish a permanent ceasefire and to implement it fully and resolve the situation peacefully and through effective dialogue," she added.

Tensions first escalated between the two countries in July 2008 following the build-up of military forces near the Preah Vihear temple, which dates back to the 11th century and is located on the Cambodian side of the border. The Hindu temple was inscribed on the World Heritage List of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that same month.

Clashes between the two countries resumed earlier this month, prompting calls for calm and restraint by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as well as UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.

The Council also expressed support for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations's (ASEAN) active efforts regarding the situation between Cambodia and Thailand, and encouraged the parties to continue to cooperate with the organization in this regard. The issue is expected to be discussed at the meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers on February 22.


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