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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Sen asks Thais to seal border...

Hun Sen asks Thais to seal border...

CAMBODIA has again urged Thailand to help seal major crossing points used by Khmer

Rouge as a life-line for their guerrilla warfare in the country.

Second Prime Minister Hun Sen raised the proposal in a meeting with Thai Foreign

Minister Thaksin Shinawatra who paid a five-hour visit to the Kingdom on Dec 21.

He urged Thailand to shut major crossing points the KR have used to ship logistic

supplies such as petrol, food and medicine to feed their forces inside Cambodia,

Svay Sitha, a spokesman for the meeting, quoted the premier as telling the Thai foreign

minister.

Thaksin was also quoted by the spokesman as saying that it was difficult for Thailand

to man the 880-kilometer boundary.

The spokesman said Hun Sen agreed it would be impossible to have every one-meter

interval of the border guarded by armed units.

However, he said closing those crossing points would prevent the rebels from transporting

supplies in large trucks, thus reducing their source of income and weakening them

logistically.

Hun Sen, Sitha said, paid acknowledgement for the Thai government's order on their

border provinces to sever links with the guerrilla group and signified cooperation

between the two countries in settling border issues.

"We will continue our cooperation in solving border problems. If we can, the

great benefit from peace will be to those [civilians] living along the border,"

Sitha quoted Hun Sen saying.

Hun Sen and Thaksin shared a common view that the only weapon used for fighting the

KR is eliminating poverty in the countryside, and the Second Premier expressed thanks

for Thailand's assistance of a rural development project in Pursat province.

Thaksin also talked with Cambodian Foreign Minister Ung Huot about setting up a joint-commission

on a local and regional basis as a mechanism to defuse border insecurity.

The second prime minister said he intended to pay a working visit to Thaland, where

he will also meet with Thai businessmen who have traded with the KR in order to re-affirmed

Phnom Penh's committment to respect their contracts. No date for the visit has yet

to be established.

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