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NEWS UPDATES 7 October 2010

Thai, Cambodian PMs meet

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Prime Minister Hun Sen met with Thai premier Abhisit Vejjajiva at a summit in Belgium, where the two leaders affirmed their commitment to a demobilisation of troops stationed along their contentious border.

According to state television channel TVK, Hun Sen and Abhisit met for about 15 minutes on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting on Monday. The two-day summit was set to conclude yesterday.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Koy Kuong said Cambodian officials welcomed further talks aimed at resolving the border dispute. Hun Sen and Abhisit are slated to meet again later this month at an Asean meeting in Hanoi.

"Cambodia's position remains that we can use bilateral or multilateral mechanisms," Koy Kuong said yesterday. "We are prepared to resolve the dispute by any means necessary."

Abhisit said he and Hun Sen had "exchanged views over the dispute in an effort to press ahead for progress in tackling the issue apart from current efforts being made through parliamentary procedures", Thai state media reported yesterday.

The countries are working to demarcate their border through a bilateral committee, though the process has been stalled since last year pending approval of the latest round of talks in the Thai parliament.

Chea Dara, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces stationed at Preah Vihear temple, said yesterday that commanders from the two sides were slated to meet next week to discuss a redeployment of troops stationed at the Cambodian border.

"This is a great sign, and the purpose of the meeting will be to prevent military confrontations," Chea Dara said.

"The two militaries from both sides have good cooperation, and we shared lunch and ate cakes together recently."

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