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Border deal reported

Border deal reported

Officials could not confirm a report yesterday that Cambodia and Thailand had agreed to survey areas along their joint border during a meeting between the two defence ministers in Jakarta.

Defence Minister Tea Banh met with his Thai counterpart, Prawit Wongsuwon, on Wednesday after a regional defence meeting held in Jakarta.

Citing an unnamed source, the Bangkok Post reported that Prawit agreed to a Cambodian proposal that would send a team to survey a 4.6-square-kilometre area adjacent to Preah Vihear temple, which both sides claim, before Cambodia hosts a General Border Committee meeting to discuss bilateral security.

Prawit reportedly told Tea Banh that the Thai government could not sign terms of reference allowing Indonesian observers to monitor the border because it was now only a caretaker administration. Thailand will hold elections on July 3.

The two countries agreed to the observer plan in February, but the proposal stalled after senior Thai military officials voiced public objections.

Both Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong and Thai Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Thani Thongphakdi, said yesterday that they did not have any details of the talks and would have to wait for official reports from the ministers themselves before they could confirm anything.

Border clashes that erupted in February and last month have left at least 28 dead.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY THOMAS MILLER

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