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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Camaraderie extends past border: Cambodian troops

Camaraderie extends past border: Cambodian troops

Thai soldiers stationed on the border in Preah Vihear have been carrying water to their Cambodian counterparts at Ta Thav, Choam Ksan district, about 7 kilometres from the disputed Preah Vihear temple complex, military officials in the area said Wednesday.

"We have no water to use on our side [of the border], but the Thai side does, so they carry plastic containers full of water for us every day", First Lieutenant Ten Navun, an officer in Border Military Battalion 404 of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF), told the Post on Wednesday.

"Our soldiers just go to the barbed wire near the border, and the plastic containers are already there. They pick them up every day," Ten Navun said.

In another sign that tensions may be easing in the troubled region, Thai soldiers have begun removing barbed wire from the disputed border area.

Thai troops had previously placed about 200 metres of barbed wire near the entrance to their border checkpoint, but have begun removing it at the request of Cambodian soldiers.

"Thai soldiers have been removing the barbed wire since Monday," Ten Navun said. "It looks bad to have barbed wire demarcating the border when that demarcation has not yet been resolved."

Other soldiers stationed in the area agreed that relations were much-improved.

"Our soldiers at the front line always have meetings with Thai soldiers to build relationships with each other and ease the situation to avoid armed confrontation," Yim Phim, commander of RCAF Brigade 8, said Wednesday.

So Dorn, an officer in Border Military Battalion 404, agreed.

"[Thai and Cambodian troops] are coming closer to each other, and we have increased our understanding of one another each day," he said.

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