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Official dismisses Thai report on border plan

The government has dismissed a report in Thai media claiming that Cambodia has agreed to jointly develop villages in a disputed border area, saying “the information was wrong”.

On Friday, the Bangkok Post, citing Thai Army chief Udomdej Sitabutr, reported that Thailand and Cambodia had agreed to join forces to develop 60 villages on the An Ses, or Chong Arn Ma, border crossing, “in accordance with newly inked agreements”.

But the cabinet of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Tea Banh released a statement to “dismiss the publication of untrue information”.

The cabinet stressed that “during a courtesy call by a Thai army delegation … there were no talks on this issue”.

Sitabutr arrived in Phnom Penh on Tuesday for a two-day visit, during which he held talks with Banh and his Cambodian counterpart, Pol Sareoun.

The disputed area made headlines early this month after Cambodian road work close to the border, in a part of land it claims but which Thailand says had previously been agreed on as neutral territory, sparked renewed tensions.

About 200 Thai soldiers were deployed to the area and the border crossing was closed. Cambodia denied that its own forces had been bolstered.

On January 8, senior military officials from both countries met to resolve the dispute. Thai troops were withdrawn, and Cambodia ceased all building activity.

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