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Cambodia to attend Asean summit

Cambodia to attend Asean summit

CAMBODIA will not boycott next month's Asean Summit in Chiang Mai,

despite the ongoing border dispute with Thailand, senior government

officials said Wednesday.

"We will not boycott the summit in

December because we regard this [border] problem as a Cambodian and

Thai dispute," said Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan.

He was speaking at a conference on the border issue.

"We want to maintain friendship and good cooperative ties with our neighbouring countries," Phay Siphan said.

"Cambodia and Thailand still have a good friendship, despite the gunfire exchange on October 15," he added.

Clashes erupted last month after months of border tensions boiled over, killing at least four Cambodian and Thai soldiers.

Phay

Siphan said Cambodia would continue negotiations over contested border

territory, despite the ongoing military standoff there.

Pressuring the host

Sam

Rainsy Party lawmaker Son Chhay said Cambodia could use the December 15

summit in Chiang Mai to raise regional awareness of Thai border

violations.

"We must attend the Asean Summit because we are a

member of Asean," he said. "It is a good opportunity to show other

Asean members about the Thai invasion of our Cambodian territory.... We

can put pressure on Thailand because Thailand is the summit host."

Bloc

members meeting for the 14th annual summit are expected to ratify the

Asean Charter - the forum's constitution, and the Basic Law that guides

Asean's operations.

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