Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Siem Reap: Preah Vihear talks still stalling

Cambodge Soir


But both military commanders showed “optimism” at the end of the meeting.

Chea Morn, the Cambodian commanding officer and Thai Lieutenant General Wiboonsak Neeparn declared their “optimism” at the end of the bipartite meeting in Siem Reap, although the border row was not mentioned.

“Both parties should be commended for their patience in easing the tension in Preah Vihear, we are looking at avenues we can follow to solve the row and bring the situation back to normal”, stated a joint declaration. During the meeting, the participants mentioned the fight against drugs and weapons trafficking, smuggling and crime in border areas.

Despite the wishes of the Cambodian delegation, the Preah Vihear file was not set on the agenda following the October 23 declaration of the Thai delegation of “having no competence” in dealing with this issue.

According to Chea Morn and Wiboonsak Neeparn, Cambodian and Thail cooperation is efficiently moving towards the resolution of the Ta Moan Thom and Ta Krabei rows.

During the meeting an anonymous leaflet was distributed, depicting a map of Veal Antry, Phnom Troap and the Keo Sekha Kirisvarak pagoda in Preah Vihear and accusing Thailand of violating Cambodian territory.

The Thai side did not wish to comment on the document arguing that it bears no relations to the meeting.

These meetings are held on a regular basis and deal with trans-border cooperation. It was the eleventh meeting of this kind.

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