Thailand and Cambodia to resume border talks

August 18, 2008 at 2:15 am Leave a comment

The Associated Press

Monday, August 18, 2008

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia: Border talks topped the agenda Monday for Thai and Cambodian foreign ministers in a bid to find a lasting solution to a lingering territorial dispute that brought the two neighbors close to an armed clash.

The latest meeting was scheduled for Monday in the Thai resort town of Hua Hin, following two inconclusive rounds of talks.

On July 28, the foreign ministers agreed to withdraw their troops from the disputed area near the 11th century Preah Vihear temple.

Both countries’ militaries pulled out most of their troops from the disputed territory on Saturday, leaving only 10 soldiers from each side at the compound of a pagoda near the temple, according to Hang Soth, director-general of the Preah Vihear National Authority, a Cambodian government agency managing the historic site.

Cambodia’s Information Minister Khieu Kanharith confirmed Sunday that only 10 Cambodian soldiers and 10 Thai troops remained.

About 800 troops from Cambodia and 400 from Thailand had been deployed to Preah Vihear and the surrounding area in a monthlong standoff in which weapons were drawn once but no shots were fired.

“The tension has eased considerably. There is no more confrontation,” Hang Soth said Sunday.

The standoff began on July 15 after UNESCO, the U.N.’s cultural agency, approved Cambodia’s application to have the Preah Vihear temple named a World Heritage Site. Thailand and Cambodia have both long claimed the temple, which the World Court awarded to Cambodia in 1962.

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

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