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‘Good results’ netted in Thai border talks

‘Good results’ netted in Thai border talks

Military commanders from Cambodia and Thailand had agreed during two-day bilateral talks to strengthen security and gradually withdraw troops from their mutual border, an official said yesterday.

Chea Mon, military comm-ander of Army Region 4, who led the Cambodian delegation for the Regional Border Committee meeting with his  Thai counterpart, 2nd Army Region commander Lieutenant General Thawatchai Samutsakorn, said the meeting had achieved “good results”.

“Before, we talked about how to avoid armed clashes, but now … we talk about how to stabilise security along the border,” Chea Mon said, after returning from the meeting, in Thailand’s Nakhon Ratchasima province.

He said both countries had steadily withdrawn troops from the border in recent weeks and would obey an International Court of Justice order to establish a demilitarised zone in the area around the 11th-century Preah Vihear temple.

The Regional Border Committee meeting marked the first official talks between the two countries since the new Thai government formed this month, following the election of Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in early July.

The talks are set to pave the way for a long-awaited meeting of the General Border Committee to address issues at the Thai-Cambodian border.

The Bangkok Post quoted Lieutenant General Thawatchai Samutsakorn on Wednesday as saying there would be more sharing of security intelligence between Thailand and Cambodia and joint border patrols to curb drug trafficking and other border crimes.

Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman Thani Thongpakdi could not be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, Oddar Meanchey provincial officials said yesterday Cambodia and Thailand would jointly open two more border checkpoints in the province next month to better facilitate trade.

Provincial governor Pech Sokhin said that the two new trade checkpoints, in Banteay Ampil district, would connect  with Thailand’s Buriram and Surin provinces.

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