Saturday, April 30, 2011

An Indonesian observer team to the Thai-Cambodian border dispute was forced to delay its departure as both countries have not agreed on terms of reference (TOR) for the team’s duties and responsibilities.
Speaking in Yogyakarta on Friday, Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro (pictured) said there were a number of issues that remained to be hammered out in the TOR, which stated the readiness of Indonesia to send observers, including the number of the observers to be deployed, to what extent and in how many spots.
“The dispute has expanded to as far as 150 kilometers to the east of the initial area. This of course has to be considered in the TOR,” Purnomo said after delivering opening remarks at the ASEAN Defense Senior Officials Meeting (ADSOM) Plus
on Friday.
The Thai-Cambodian border conflict, he said, was initially over an area of 4.5 square kilometers, but later spilled over to a wider area. The dispute, Purnomo claimed, had been brought to the UN Security Council, which recommended it be settled within ASEAN.
Based on the recommendation, Purnomo said, Indonesia as the current chair of ASEAN initiated a meeting earlier this year and proposed the TOR should a peacekeeping operation be carried out to help settle the dispute.
“It’s still under discussion,” he said.
Purnomo added that a peacekeeping operation was one of five topics discussed at ADSOM Plus, which was attended by the representatives of the 10 ASEAN states and the grouping’s dialog partners: Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea and the US.
“This is the new architecture of ASEAN and its eight dialog partners in the field of defense,” Purnomo said, adding that Yogyakarta was the first host city for the ADSOM Plus.
The meeting was scheduled back-to-back with the two-day ADSOM held on Wednesday and Thursday, which involved only senior defense officials from ASEAN states.
The other four defense cooperation issues discussed during the ADSOM Plus were military medicine, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, counterterrorism and maritime security.
By Sri Wahyuni,, Sat, 04/30/2011
The Jakarta Post, Yogyakarta


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