Thailand’s Royal Air Force yesterday made an introductory visit to Minister of Defence Tea Banh, with the two sides discussing general military issues between the neighbouring countries to bolster military ties.
“It was a pleasure welcoming the Royal Thai Air Force, who made a visit to the Cambodian Royal Air Force,” Banh told Thai Air Force Commander Treetod Sonjance. “It is good opportunity for us to exchange experience and tie the military relationship and friendship.”
Appearing before reporters, neither Banh, who also serves as a deputy prime minister, nor Treetod mentioned tensions between the Thailand and Cambodia, including the disputed portions of the 4.6-square-kilometre area surrounding the Preah Vihear temple. The temple was the cause behind clashes between the countries in 2008.
Violent clashes over the disputed territory – a UNESCO World Heritage site – left at least 18 people dead and thousands displaced along the border in 2011. The same year Cambodia asked the International Court of Justice to reinterpret a 1962 ruling over which country owned the land.
However, Thailand, in the past, has provided air force training to the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, Banh said.
“I would like to thank my military delegates for the warm welcome I have received, and giving me the honour of visiting Cambodia,” Treetod said to reporters.