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Talks held on plan for new Thai crossing

Talks held on plan for new Thai crossing

CAMBODIAN and Thai officials met this week on a proposal to open a new border crossing in Banteay Meanchey's O'Chrouv district, although Thai officials still need to obtain formal approval from officials in Bangkok, the governor of Banteay Meanchey told the Post Wednesday.

"Officials on both sides have agreed to a proposal to form another local checkpoint in O'Beichon commune, but the Thai authorities of Sa Keo province still need to go to their Ministry of Foreign Affairs," Ung Oeun said.

He said the checkpoint would facilitate the legal transfer of goods between the two countries, adding that authorities would be able to "crack down on smuggling and collect more taxes for the state".

During the Monday meeting, held at the provincial governor's office, Cambodian officials also raised concerns about reports that Cambodian crops had been barred from entering Thai markets, said Om Chantha, a cabinet official in Battambang province.

Farmers in Koh Kong, Pursat, Battambang, Pailin, Banteay Meanchey, Oddar Meanchey and Preah Vihear provinces said earlier this year that they had been barred from sending goods across the border out of concern that they would drive prices down. 

Kamrob Palawatwichai, first secretary for the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh, said Wednesday that he was not familiar with the proposed checkpoint but said it would be "good for travellers and for the transportation of goods".

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