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 5 Apr 2009

Thai-Cambodia Border Dispute:
Misunderstanding causes border flarup-Thai commander-in-chief

Clashes between Thai and Cambodian soldiers at the disputed border on Friday resulted from ‘misunderstanding’, Thai News Agency quoted Thailand’s Army Commander-in-Chief Gen. Anupong Paochinda as saying Saturday.

Soldiers of each country stationed on the disputed border area thought that the other side intruded into their country’s territory, said Gen. Anupong, adding that Thailand would not use force to resolve the problem.

Thailand and Cambodia must resolve their differences through negotiations, he said, noting that they are being prepared, he said as he was about to board a military aircraft to visit an Ubon Ratchathani hospital where soldiers wounded in the border clashes are being treated.

Two Thai soldiers and two Cambodian soldiers died in the fighting while nine Thai soldiers were wounded. The clashes took place near the ancient Preah Vihear temple.

Anupong said negotiations will take place at the ministerial level as well as with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen. However, he said senior army officers of both countries in the disputed area will play a significant role in finding ways to end the dispute. Cambodian troops have fired heavy weapons into the Thai territory since Friday’s clashes.

Earlier, Phay Siphan, spokesman for the Council of Ministers, told Kyodo News that negotiations between regional commanders of the two sides ended the fighting.




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