Both Thailand and Cambodia were claiming victory Monday after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled on disputed border territory near an 11th-century temple, but tempers seemed to be cooling in both countries.
The court ruled that Cambodia’s sovereignty extends to all of the natural promontory bearing the monument, but rejected its claim to a nearby hill, called Phnum Trap in Cambodian and Phu Makua in Thai.
The decision essentially leaves Thailand and Cambodia to decide between them on most of the 4.6 square kilometres adjacent to the temple that were the source of the recent conflict, analysts said.
“I think it was a success for the Thai team that they convinced the court not to rule on the sovereignty of the disputed territory,” said Puongthong Pawakapan, a political scientist at Chulalongkorn University.
“It’s still considered overlapping territory, so the two sides will need to negotiate it further,” she said.
Thailand may have lost a small portion of the territory it originally claimed, she conceded.
In Phnom Penh, Information Minister Khieu Kanharith said on his Facebook page: “This is the victory of all the nation and the reward to the political maturity of the current Royal government of Cambodia.\”
Phay Siphan, spokesman for the Council of Ministers, was more constrained.
“For both governments, Phnom Penh and Bangkok, the common ground is peace,” he said.