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Kampuchea: Thailand



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No. M5 DateS January 1980 THE HON. ANDREW PEACOCK M.P.

KAMPUCHEA; THAILAND

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Andrew Peacock, today warned that the prospects of intensified fighting in western Kampuchea had given rise to fears of a further massive exodus of Kampuchean refugees into Thailand and of hostilities

spilling over into Thailand.

The Minister called on all the parties involved in hostilities in the Thai/Kampuchea border area to exercise the greatest possible restraint because of the dangers of the conflict widening.

Mr Peacock expressed the Government's deep concern over the potential of these developments to threaten further the peace and stability of South-East Asia. He warned that the tension in the Thai/Kampuchea border area would escalate if military activity continued unchecked.

The Minister noted reports of a substantial build-up of Khmer civilians in Kampuchea in the vicinity of the border with Thailand. He said it was particularly important that the combatants in the area respected the lives and welfare of these,people

so as to prevent unnecessary suffering and their need to seek refuge in Thailand.

Mr Peacock said that Australia would continue to support the ASEAN countries in their efforts to seek a peaceful solution :to the Kampuchean situation. The Government would also maintain its program of relief assistance to Thailand and the international

agencies to help them cope with the enormous task created by the presence of over one million displaced Khmers along the Thai/Kampuchea border. '

The Minister said that the Australian Government urged all concerned members of the international, community to co-operate with the Thai authorities and representatives of the international and voluntary agencies to alleviate the plight of the displaced Khmer people in the Thai/Kampuchea border region and to enable

them to return to their homes'in peace and security.