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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Thailand's turmoil delays border work

Thailand's turmoil delays border work

ONGOING political turmoil in Bangkok has obliged the Thai-Cambodian Joint Border Commission - charged with marking the neighbouring countries' 805 kilometres of shared border - to delay demarcating and de-mining the contested area near the Preah Vihear temple, officials said.

"We cannot do anything right now until we receive approval from the Thai parliament," the head of the border committee, Var Kimhong, told the Post on Monday. "We do not know when the approval will be made."

On November 12, Foreign Minister Hor Namhong and his Thai counterpart agreed during a meeting in Siem Reap to reduce the troop buildup along the shared border and allow the JBC to commence its work in the area by mid-December.

"The current situation in Thailand does not in any way affect Thailand's firm commitment to pursuing peaceful settlement of the matter through the existing bilateral framework and boundary mechanism," said a December 9 statement issued by the Thai Foreign Ministry through its embassy in Phnom Penh.

Meas Yoeun, deputy military commander stationed at Preah Vihear, told the Post that he had received no recent orders pertaining to the work of the JBC.

"The situation along the border near the temple is normal, and troops on both sides have reduced [levels] to 30 troops each at the front line near the temple," Meas Yoeun said.

Phay Siphan, a secretary of state at the Council of Ministers, said there is no schedule set for the next meeting of the JCB and this will not change until newly appointed Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva takes office.  

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