Cambodian, Thai leaders to avoid border conflict

October 24, 2008 12:00 am

, BEIJING, October 24 – The Thai and Cambodian prime ministers agreed during a meeting here on Friday that their nations would prevent any more armed clashes over a border dispute, their foreign ministers said.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and his Thai counterpart Somchai Wongsawat, in Beijing for a summit of Asian and European leaders, met to discuss the tensions that have erupted into deadly clashes.

"The two sides have to advise our troops not to have confrontations any longer," Thai Foreign Minister Sompong Amornviwat told reporters as he summarised agreements made between the two leaders.

Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong, standing alongside Sompong, made similar remarks and described the atmosphere of the talks as "very good, very friendly."

"We are moving in a good track. Not only to solve the problem of the borders between our two countries but also on a good track to improve our neighbourliness and cooperation," Hor Namhong said.

Tensions between the two neighbours flared in July when an ancient temple on their border was awarded United Nations World Heritage status, rekindling long-running tensions over ownership of land surrounding the temple.

The situation quickly escalated into a military confrontation, with up to 1,000 Cambodian and Thai troops facing off for six weeks, although both sides in August agreed to reduce troop numbers in the main disputed area.

The Cambodian-Thai border has never been fully demarcated, in part because it is littered with landmines left over from decades of war in Cambodia.


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