Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - A defining moment draws near

A defining moment draws near

A defining moment draws near

5-Var-Kimhong.gif
5-Var-Kimhong.gif

KAY KIMSONG

Var Kimhong: The border with Laos will be fully demarcated by the end of June.

C

ambodia expects to finish demarcating its border with Laos in June and its boundary with Vietnam on schedule by 2012, but there is no timeframe for concluding negotiations with Thailand, a senior government official said.

Var Kimhong, the chairman of the Government Border Committee, told reporters on May 17 the Cambodia-Laos border committee had inspected 86 percent of the markers along the 540-kilometer border and only a few issues remained to be finalized.

A 14-member Laotian delegation will be in Phnom Penh from June 3 to 5 for talks on the border, said a senior official at the Laotian embassy, Kengchai Sixanonh.

“The Cambodia-Laos joint border committee has been working very smoothly and I think the relationship will get better in the future,” Kengchai said.

Kimhong meanwhile said work on demarcating the border with Vietnam had been accelerated under an additional treaty signed with Hanoi in 2005.

He said the treaty increased from one to five the number of groups working on delineating the 1,270km border, which will have more than 350 granite markers.

However, Kimhong said differences with Bangkok over the 805km border with Thailand remained a problem, and he referred to a reported incursion by armed Thai paramilitary rangers on May 16 during which some houses were damaged at Choam Sa Ngam, in Anlong Veng district of Oddar Meanchey province.

Kimhong said he was “surprised” by the incursion because negotiations had been taking place with Bangkok on opening a border crossing at Choam Sa Ngam linking Oddar Meanchey with Thailand’s Si Sa Ket province.

The governor of Anlong Veng district, Yin Phanna, said on May 19 the situation had “cooled down” after talks earlier that day between Cambodian officials, including members of the provincial border commission, and Thai army officers.

“Negotiations were the only way to solve the issue,” Phanna said, adding that no Cambodian troops were deployed in the area where the incursion took place.

Despite occasional incidents along the border with Thailand, Kimhong said Cambodia regarded the bilateral relationship as one of “eternal friendship.”

“We are like brothers or friends who live near each other ... we don’t need to deploy any troops,” Kimhong said.

The Cambodia-Thailand Joint Border Commission began its demarcation work in 2006 – three years after the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding to resolve border issues – and has focused its efforts on finding the 73 markers installed by a French-Siamese commission.

“The search for border markers has no schedule or timeframe for completing the task; what is most important is that an agreement can be reached,” Kimhong said.

Asked about the main obstacles to demarcating the Cambodia-Thai border, Kimhong said the legacies of colonialism and years of conflict meant that it was not a “normal” border.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all