There has been heavy artillery fire around the Kampuchean (Cambodian) border town of Poipet as Vietnamese-backed troops continue to drive back forces supporting the ousted Kampuchean Prime Minister, Pol Pot.
LV ZOOM INTO GV Poipet town (TWO SHOTS)
SV photographers taking pictures of huts (THREE SHOTS)
GV buildings with shattered windows (TWO SHOTS)
GV troops at Thai border post (TWO SHOTS)
GV Thai negotiating committee crossing border as newsmen take photographs (TWO SHOTS)
GV & SV negotiating committees (TWO SHOTS)
GV Thai Foreign Minister in Bangkok
SCU Thai Foreign Minister Upadit Pachariyangkun speaking in English (THREE SHOTS)
PACHARIYANGKUN: "We have stated in a document that whatever foreign forces should be withdrawn. We are not in a position to say which forces are in that area, but it is our wish of a common will that the withdrawal of the foreign forces from that area will serve a very useful purpose. Even though all the ASEAN countries are concerned about the situation, Thailand is not panicking. We are prepared. We have adopted all the necessary measures to meet any eventuality. And with the help of our ASEAN member countries, we feel sure that nothing will happen to Thailand. The government of course we still have the pledge made between the leaders of all the countries concerned."
The five ASEAN nations are Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore. Vietnam has said it would respect a pledge contained in joint statements signed by Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Van dong during his tour of ASEAN countries last year. In the agreement Vietnam promised not to support any subversive activities in South-Est Asia. Talks at the meeting ASEAN Foreign Ministers were expected to include the current refugee problem in the area.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: There has been heavy artillery fire around the Kampuchean (Cambodian) border town of Poipet as Vietnamese-backed troops continue to drive back forces supporting the ousted Kampuchean Prime Minister, Pol Pot. The town itself has little strategic importance and has been quiet for some days. On Saturday (13 January) the five Foreign Ministers of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) ended their meeting in Bangkok with a strong condemnation of the armed intervention against the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Kampuchea.
SYNOPSIS: Poipet lies on the road to Nimit, which has seen strong resistance by troops loyal to the Peking-backed regime of Pol Pot. The Vietnamese-supported insurgents have claimed control of all Kampuchea's major cities, including the capital Phnom Penh. poipet is almost deserted with many of its buildings badly damaged. Former Premier Pol Pot is reported to be hiding in the jungle ready to direct a guerilla war against the new regime.
Thailand, worried this latest out-break of fighting will lead to another flow of unwanted Indo-chinese refugees, has increased forces at the border checkpoint near Poipet. Thai Foreign Minister Upadit Pachariyangkun spoke to newsmen at the end of the two-day ASEAN meeting in Bangkok.