Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Minister declares Vietnam map issue resolved

Minister declares Vietnam map issue resolved

Minister declares Vietnam map issue resolved

Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong has demanded an end to opposition politicking on the Vietnam border issue, following the second and “final” verification of maps used by the government to demarcate the eastern boundary against French charts.

Namhong, also a deputy prime minister, yesterday presided over the reception of 26 colonial-era “Bonne” 1/100,000-scale maps of the Kingdom, delivered courtesy of French President Francois Hollande from the National Geographic Institute in Paris.

During a three-hour ceremony at the Council of Ministers, the charts were overlaid with government maps.

As with a similar event in August involving maps loaned by the United Nations, the maps appeared to match. No questions were permitted. The efforts are in response to claims made by some opposition lawmakers that the government had used “fake” maps favourable to Vietnam to delineate the border.

Yesterday, Namhong, clearly irritated with the CNRP accusations, declared the matter finished, ruling out further “verifications” and saying he hoped the official French maps had “opened their eyes”.

“The border problem, the maps problem, should end. [We should] not let a political party take this problem and turn it into a campaign to incite Khmer citizens to oppose the government,” he said.

“It is not a different border. Why isn’t it different? Because we have used it for decades since 1985 when we signed a treaty with Vietnam to demarcate; we have used the maps Bonne 1/100,000 that we have had already; that’s why it is not different.”

However, CNRP lawmaker Ou Chanrith, who led the opposition delegation to the verification, said questions remained about whether the maps corresponded with border posts.

He said the party wanted to borrow copies of the French and governments maps to verify them independently.

“We need map experts and we also need to undertake separate research in order to declare our stance, too,” he said.

He added it was “regretful” Namhong used the opportunity to attack the party, rather than promote national unity over the issue.

Sok Touch, head of the border research group at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said the French maps were authoritative, and the same as the government charts, and should “end the controversy”.

Touch said his attention would now turn to where border posts were planted.

During the ceremony, Namhong explained that although the government had used the official maps, it had also considered the actual situation of border regions when delineating, as well as the 1914 decision of a French governor granting Cambodia an additional parcel of land in Mondulkiri province.

Namhong also addressed the issue of National Assembly President Heng Samrin’s birth village Anlung Chrey, in Kampong Cham’s Punhea Krek district.

He said although, according to the Bonne map, it was in Vietnam, Cambodia would negotiate a village swap to secure it.

The demarcation treaty allows land exchanges to accommodate Cambodian or Vietnamese communities living in contested areas.

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