Cambodia, Thailand to hold new border talks

August 18, 2008 at 7:16 am Leave a comment

BANGKOK, Aug 18 (TNA, Agencies) — Only a few Thai and Cambodian troops remain near the disputed temple of Preah Vihear ahead of a meeting Tuesday of the two countries foreign ministers in Thailand’s Phetchburi province
southwest of Bangkok to seek a solution to a lingering border dispute over the ancient temple.

Thai Army chief General Anupong Paochinda is scheduled to inspect a Thai troop pullout from border points near the Preah Vihear temple in Thailand’s northeastern province of Si Sa Ket Monday morning.

Prior to departing for Si Sa Ket, Gen. Anupong reaffirmed the troop pullout which both countries have carried out since Saturday was the result  of cooperation and understanding between Thailand and Cambodia to avoid confrontation and tension.

Cambodian Information Minister Khieu Kanharith confirmed Sunday that there were only 20 soldiers –10 Cambodian and 10 Thai — in the compound of a pagoda located in a border area claimed by both countries, according to the Associated Press.

In Phnom Penh, at least three people were slightly injured on Sunday when Cambodian anti-riot police cracked down on about 50 anti-Thai protesters, mainly teachers and garment workers during a demonstration over the disputed
Preah Vihear temple.

The demonstrators urged Thai troops to complete their withdrawal from the disputed temple.

Phnom Penh’s police chief G. Touch Naruth said such a protest would never help reduce the tension between the two countries, according to a report by Reuters.

Tensions at the ancient temple escalated after the United Nations for Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) early last month named the temple as World Heritage site to Cambodia. The International Court of Justice in 1962 ruled that the temple belongs to Cambodia, but that the surrounding area remains in dispute between the two countries.

The troop withdrawal followed the first meeting of Thai Foreign Minister Tej Bunnag and his Cambodian counterpart Hor Namhong held in the Cambodian province of Siem Reap on July 28. (TNA

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Entry filed under: Politics, Preah Vihear Issue. Tags: .

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