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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Sen defends new border deal

Hun Sen defends new border deal

Hun Sen defends new border deal

P rime Minister Hun Sen has warned that anyone accusing him of ceding land to the Vietnamese during coming border talks would be jailed and fined.

"If there were any number of people who believed [that the government had sold land to Vietnam], there would be chaos or armed force against the government," Hun Sen said during an October 6 graduation ceremony at the University of Pedagogy.

"I will follow up to sue them in a French court and put them in jail and get compensation," he said.

Hun Sen said he will leave for Vietnam on October 10 to meet the Vietnamese prime minister and jointly sign six points of the total seven points on border issues that have been negotiated.

He said that once the border agreement with Vietnam was signed, Cambodian people along the border will no longer have to ask permission from Vietnam to fish or travel by boat in waters along the border.

Hun Sen said that in the past, where a river or canal had separated Cambodia and Vietnam, the waterway had been treated as being entirely in Vietnamese territory, with the line of demarcation along the Cambodian shore.

Now Vietnam had agreed that the border would run along the midline of the river or canal, or the line where the water was deepest.

Hun Sen said he would continue to work towards a similar agreement with Laos, but negotiations on border issues take more than a few days.

Hun Sen dismissed voices in Phnom Penh who suggested that territory had been ceded to Vietnam.

"If border territory were sold to Vietnam the reaction would came from the people living along the border, not people in Phnom Penh," he said.

Opposition parliamentarians issued a statement on October 5 saying the planned signing of the Supplementary Convention on the 1985 Treaty on Boundary Delimitation between the People's Republic of Kampuchea and Socialist Republic of Vietnam will be unconstitutional.

"The Convention is to be signed by the head of a governmental authority in violation of Article 26 of the 1993 Constitution which stipulates that only the King/Head of State can sign an international treaty," opposition lawmakers wrote in statement.

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