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Cambodian-Thai PMs to discuss border row

CAMBODIAN officials said yesterday that Prime Minister Hun Sen had accepted an invitation to meet Thai premier Abhisit Vejjajiva in New York later this month, as the countries work to build ties following the resumption of full diplomatic relations last month.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said Abhisit had requested a meeting with Hun Sen on September 24 at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, where ASEAN leaders are also scheduled to meet United States President Barack Obama.

“Samdech Hun Sen accepted the meeting, and the two premiers will hold bilateral discussions,” Koy Kuong said.

Hun Sen accepted the meeting and the two premiers will hold [talks].

Thai government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn told Bangkok’s The Nation that the gathering would be “an informal and friendly meeting to discuss only cooperation, not issues of conflict”.
Cambodia and Thailand withdrew their respective ambassadors last year in a rift over the appointment of former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra as economics adviser to the Cambodian government. Thaksin is wanted on graft charges at home in Thailand.

Ties were restored last month following the announcement of Thaksin’s resignation.

But although relations have warmed with Thaksin out of the picture, the countries’ dispute over territory along their border adjacent to Preah Vihear temple remains unresolved.

Speaking at a graduation ceremony in Phnom Penh this month, Hun Sen chided the Thai government for its inaction in resolving the ongoing border dispute and said discord between the two countries would remain as long as Thai troops were stationed in the disputed territory.

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