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NEWS UPDATES 18 October 2009

Asean Summit: Cambodia to raise border issues with Thailand

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Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen will raise border issues with Thailand at area near the 11th century Khmer Preah Vihear temple at the forthcoming Asean summit, according to Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong.

"We requested the Thai side (Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya) in my official letter to put the border issues between Cambodia and Thailand in the agenda of Asean (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) summit but the Thai side so far has not replied to me officially," Hor told reporters at a recent news conference.

Meanwhile, Hor stressed that "border issues between Cambodia and Thailand are easy to settle and easy to plant the border markers if the Thai side respects international regulations" as the verdict of international court and border treaty in 1904 and 1907 and existing mechanism.

"It is the last choice that we will take the border issues with Thailand to international institutions," he said, adding that actually, "we want to deal with the issue through bilateral and peaceful deal."

Thailand will host Asean summit on October 23-25.

Troops with heavy weapons from Cambodia and Thailand have conflicted on border at areas near Preah Vihear temple since July 15, 2008 after the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization approved Cambodia's sole bid to list the 11th century temple as a world heritage site.

But, the question of sovereignty over the land has never been clearly resolved as Thailand and Cambodia share a nearly 800-kilometer long common border. The international court ruled the Preah Vihear temple belonged to Cambodia more than 40 years ago, but border dispute over areas around the temple has remained a fuse in the two neighboring countries' relationship.

Armed clashed occurred two or three times and killed several soldiers from both sides.


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