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Bangkok chaos threatens border talks

Bangkok chaos threatens border talks

THE ongoing political standoff in Thailand, which led to the shutdown of Bangkok's two main airports by anti-government protestors last week, could affect the upcoming talks between Cambodia and Thailand over their joint border, say officials.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Hor Namhong said that the recent political crisis in Thailand could complicate the resolution of recent border troubles.

"The complicated situation in Thailand will have a negative influence on talks about border demarcation," Hor Namhong told reporters Friday on his return from the fifth Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam summit in Vientiane.

Cambodia and Thailand have never fully demarcated their 805-kilometre shared border, but a meeting between Hor Namhong and his Thai counterpart on November 12 yielded an agreement to scale down troop numbers and begin joint demarcation and de-mining operations from mid-December.

Hor Namhong said that the Joint Border Commission was scheduled to meet again the following month but added that the January meeting could be in doubt if the situation within Thailand continues.

"We cannot predict how long the crisis is going to last. We will wait to see," he said. "Both governments are willing to resolve the border issue peacefully and make progress as soon as possible."

Yim Phim, commander of RCAF Brigade 43, said Sunday that the situation at the border remained calm amidst the upheavals in Bangkok.

"The situation in Thailand is their own internal issue," he said.

"We have a duty to protect the border, but the situation here is normal."

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