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Details of talks under wraps

Details of talks under wraps

Tensions remain high along Thai-Cambodian border: officials.

PRIME Minister Hun Sen met privately with a Thai deputy prime minister and minister of defence on Saturday, but both Cambodian and Thai officials remain tight-lipped about the substance of the discussions.

Hun Sen's wife, Bun Rany, cooked lunch for Suthep Thaugsuban and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon at their residence in southern Kandal province, Suthep said Saturday after returning to Thailand. Tensions have recently escalated over the UNESCO listing of an ancient temple.

Hun Sen said in advance of the meeting that he would not discuss Thailand's decision to challenge UNESCO's listing of Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage site.

Abhisit said earlier this month that he would contest the July 2008 inscription during the annual meeting of the World Heritage Committee in Seville, Spain.

"I will only welcome an explanation about their withdrawal from Cambodian territory," Hun Sen said on Friday.

Upon his return to Bangkok, Suthep declined to reveal details of Saturday's unofficial talks but told Thai media that the two countries should move past the tension caused by previous border clashes.

"We should let bygones be bygones, forget the nightmare of the past and look forward to a positive future for both countries," he said.

Koy Kuong, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said he had no information about the lunch, calling it a "private meeting".

Officials said Sunday that the high-level talks had not lowered tension along the border.

"People left here ... because Thai soldiers were doing military exercises on their land," said Peuy Saroeun, the deputy governor of Anlong Veng district in Oddar Meanchey province.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY AFP

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