As ASEAN concluded its leaders summit in Jakarta on Sunday, association chair Indonesia says it would broker talks on Monday to end Thailand and Cambodia’s border dispute.
Photo: Winding down: ASEAN leaders leave a retreat at the 18th ASEAN Summit in Jakarta on Sunday. The leaders are (from right) Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong, ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan, Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Myanmar President Thein Sein, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung. Reuters/Supri
Indonesia will host a meeting between Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong and his Thai counterpart, Kasit Piromya, in Jakarta on Monday.
President Susilo Bambang Yu-dhoyono, before concluding the two-day summit, met with Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, both of whom traded barbs over the border row at the summit.
Hours later, Abhisit and Hun Sen held separate press conferences that failed to show progress in resolving the dispute.
Yudhoyono said that he had offered the prime ministers several solutions, such as establishing a joint border committee meeting to settle the two nations’ fundamental disputes peacefully.
In the chair’s statement, ASEAN’s heads of government hailed the commitment of Thailand and Cambodia to resolve the dispute bilaterally through mediation by Indonesia.
“We expressed appreciation and support for the continuing effort of Indonesia to facilitate the process through its appropriate engagement, which will help advance our collective effort to attain an ASEAN community,” the chairman’s statement said.
Yudhoyono said that ASEAN’s leaders agreed to a three part joint statement to conclude the summit.
The first part, on the ASEAN community’s role in a global community of nation, said ASEAN’s member countries would adopt a common platform on global issues
The second part provided for increased cooperation to avert trafficking in persons across the region.
The heads of government vowed to enhance cooperation among national law enforcement agencies.
Special units would also be developed to ensure victims of trafficking were treated humanely by receiving nations and that people were repatriated to their countries of origin.
Finally, the leaders agreed to an Indonesian proposal to establish an institute for peace and reconciliation that would, among other things, conduct research and studies to give input to governments to promote peace and reconciliation processes.
In a press conference, Yudhoyono highlighted 10 key issues discussed in the summit, including food and energy security, Myanmar’s proposal for hosting the 2014 ASEAN summit, Cambodia and Thailand’s border dispute and Timor Leste’s application for membership
Yudhoyono said that ASEAN asked Myanmar to continue with its reconciliation process, which has recently evinced positive developments.
The heads of government tasked ASEAN’s foreign ministers with evaluating Timor Leste’s membership application and with giving recommendations for the leaders’ consideration with a view to a decision later in 2011.
“The spirit is that the leaders can accept the presence of Timor Leste [in ASEAN],” Yudhoyono said.
The President added that the heads of government also agreed to step up cooperation to ensure food and energy security for the people of ASEAN.