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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Groups set up to solve VN disputes

Groups set up to solve VN disputes

HANOI -Vietnam and Cambodia have agreed to negotiate solutions to bilateral

problems and have set up committees to discuss the two key issues - a

long-running border dispute and treatment of ethnic Vietnamese residents of

Cambodia.

Tens of thousands of Vietnamese residents fled Cambodia last

year after more than 100 were killed in a series of massacres by hard-line

communist Khmer Rouge guerrillas.

Some 6,000 who want to return to their

homes on Cambodia's big Tonle Sap lake are reported stranded on the

Vietnam-Cambodia border, with Cambodian authorities unwilling to let them

in.

A joint communiqué issued on Sunday night April 3 after a two-day

visit to Phnom Penh by Vietnamese Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet said the two sides

agreed to set up a working group of experts on the issue.

It would be

settled "on the basis of respect for Cambodian national legislation and

international law and practices," the com-muniqué said.

Vietnamese

nationals would be "treated like other foreign nationals" in Cambodia, it added

without elaboration.

On the border issue, the communiqué said another

joint working group would discuss and settle border demarcation.

It would

also discuss "necessary measures aimed at maintaining security and stability in

the border areas and building a border of lasting peace and friendship between

the two countries".

Cambodia claims Vietnam and and Thailand have

encroached on its territory over several decades.

On the use of the

waters of the Mekong river, which both share, the communiqué said Vietnam and

Cambodia agreed to hold further talks with other countries involved within the

framework of the UN's Mekong Committee.

They wanted to seek "an

appropriate formula in setting all issues relation to the right to use the

Mekong river in order to meet the interests of the riverain peoples and states,

particularly those in the lower Mekong", the com-muniqué said. - Reuters

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