Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodian, Thai FMs to meet today over border

Cambodian, Thai FMs to meet today over border

Cambodian, Thai FMs to meet today over border

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AFP

A Cambodian soldier walks near Preah Vihear temple in this file photo.

Talks earlier this week have made only little progress towards resolving the prolonged standoff over disputed territory

FOREIGN Minister Hor Namhong is expected to meet today with his Thai counterpart, Sompong Amornvivat, at the culmination of three days of talks over disputed territory on the border between Cambodia and Thailand.

The negotiations follow what officials have called "big steps" made towards resolving a standoff on the border that pitted troops from the two countries against each other in a deadly shootout last month.

However, Var Kimhong, head of Cambodia's border committee, said Tuesday's meeting struggled to find points of agreement because participants did not have the authority to make policy decisions.

"We need more time and high-level decisions," he said.

But Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan told the Post Tuesday that officials over the past two days have prepared the way for the two foreign ministers to meet.

Tuesday's talks focused on demarcating the border around Preah Vihear temple, the 11th-century World Heritage site that was the flashpoint for the most recent border crisis, which erupted in July when Thai troops took up positions inside Cambodia near the temple.

"The agenda was to address border demarcation at Preah Vihear and also the withdrawal of troops from the area," Phay Siphan said.

Koy Kuong, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the foreign ministers' meeting today would build on the progress made since the start of the week between Cambodian and Thai border committees.

Military sources say troops from both sides have drawn back from the front lines, but remain skeptical that this round of negotiations will result in any significant results. 

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY AFP

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