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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodian and Thai military units agree to cooperate on border

Cambodian and Thai military units agree to cooperate on border

Officers from both sides meet to ease tension in Pursat ahead of high-ranking talks today as the two countries seek to defuse hostilities


People near the Thai border in Pursat province mistakenly believed that Thai and Cambodian soldiers exchanged fire on Tuesday after land mines were destroyed by the Cambodian Mine Action Centre, a border police commander said.

AHEAD of border crisis talks expected this week between Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and his Thai counterpart, military commanders from both sides are working to ease tensions on the ground with the latest detente occurring in Pursat's Veal Veng district.

"I talked with Thai military commanders in order to ease tensions since the clash at Preah Vihear," Bun Seng, commander of Military Region 5 after negotiations Monday.

"We always have meetings together if we have any potential problems along the border," he added.

"There have been no serious problems along the Thai-Cambodian border under the control of the Cambodian military in Region 5. We have to talk to each other to prevent any incidents or clashes from happening."

Cambodian military commanders are to hold talks with Thai army leaders today in Siem Reap ahead of Friday's meeting in China between Hun Sen and Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat as the two sides try to mend fences following last week's clashes near Preah Vihear that have so far claimed at least four lives.

It is in our

territory so we have no reason to remove this fence.

Cambodian and Thai soldiers have faced off at several flash points along the border since mid-July, when Cambodia accused Thai troops of entering the Preah Vihear temple complex, shortly after the 11th-century Cambodian ruins, which some Thais still claim as their own, were declared a Unesco world monument.
In Veal Veng, Military Region 5 Deputy Commander Ek Sam On said commanders from both sides have agreed to allow a fence constructed on the Cambodian side of the border to remain in place, despite earlier demands by Thai troops that it be taken down.

"I told Thai navy military commanders Tuesday not to move their armed forces and not to request that we destroy a fence made by Cambodian soldiers more than 10 years ago," Ek Sam On said.

"It is in our territory so we have no reason to remove it.... Thai military officers say they have agreed to my request," he said. "But their soldiers still demand that our soldiers remove it. We want them to respect an agreement from 2000."

Earlier, Thai troops demanded the Cambodians remove a border fence and retreat deeper into Cambodian territory.



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