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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Border talks deadlock, again

Border talks deadlock, again

CAMBODIAN and Thai negotiators have again failed to reach an agreement to end a long-running dispute over their shared border, but say new talks will be held in mid-April.

Cambodian negotiator Var Kimhong said Thursday that the Joint Border Commission (JBC) had was in deadlock over what to call the 11th century temple - known in Cambodia as Prasat Preah Vihear - and was unable to devise a way to proceed with border demarcation in contested areas surrounding the temple.

"Preah Vihear belongs to Cambodia with recognition from Unesco and the International Court of Justice," Var Kimhong told reporters at Phnom Penh International Airport after returning Thursday from the talks in Bangkok.

"Thailand insisted on calling [the temple] Phra Viharn in the documents under discussion, and we did not agree with this decision."

Var Kimhong added that the JBC had agreed in principle that the area surrounding Preah Vihear temple and the nearby pagoda of Keo Sekha Kirisvara be cleared of troops, but that the decision would only be made in a meeting today between the two countries' defence ministers.

Talks are set to recommence in Siem Reap in mid-April, and Prime Minister Hun Sen is expected to raise the issue in bilateral discussions during the forthcoming Asean summit from February 27 to March 1 in Hua Hin, Thailand.

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