Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - French assistance sticking point at Vietnam border meeting

French assistance sticking point at Vietnam border meeting

Officials from Cambodia and Vietnam meet in Phnom Penh yesterday to discuss issues pertaining to the nations’ shared border.
Officials from Cambodia and Vietnam meet in Phnom Penh yesterday to discuss issues pertaining to the nations’ shared border. Heng Chivoan

French assistance sticking point at Vietnam border meeting

A six-hour, closed-door meeting of the Cambodia-Vietnam Border Committee ended inconclusively last night, with the two countries unable to agree on how much assistance they should request from the French government in settling ongoing border demarcation issues.

The head of Cambodia’s committee, senior minister Var Kimhong, said yesterday that his Vietnamese counterparts submitted a seven-point list of areas they felt French assistance was warranted, only two of which the Cambodian delegation have agreed to thus far.

“Frankly, we don’t agree. The two points are a lot already,” Kimhong said, adding that the remaining five could be solved without outside intervention.

He declined to elaborate on the content of the list before a final agreement has been reached. However, he did say that the focus of the meeting was on the drafting of a letter requesting 1/100,000 and 1/50,000-scale maps of the border from France.

Long Visalo, Foreign Affairs Ministry secretary of state who also attended the meeting, said that specific border issues in Ratanakkiri – including the digging of nine agricultural wells and the construction of a concrete police post in a disputed border area – were also discussed.

“I protested that if they dare to continue building, I will make them dismantle it,” Visalo said, adding that the Vietnamese contingent promised to convey his complaints to their superiors and get back to the Cambodian delegation at a later date.

Le Hoai Trung, Vietnam’s deputy minister of foreign affairs and chief of the country’s border committee, did not respond to reporters’ questions as he left the meeting.

The signing of a memorandum on the day’s events was postponed to this morning due to disagreements between the parties, according to Koy Pisey, deputy chief of the Cambodian Border Affairs Committee.

But one thing both sides could agree on was the necessity of allocating significant funds toward the installation of 1,000 border demarcation posts, according to Kimhong.

“It costs millions of dollars and will have to make use of the national budget,” Kimhong said, explaining that planting the posts on dry land will cost $3,000 to $5,000, while maritime posts will cost up to $100,000 apiece, with the cost being split between the two countries.

Meanwhile, attempts by Cambodian Youth Party representatives to deliver a letter of protest to the Vietnamese Embassy were ignored, according to party president Pich Sros, who said the group will protest to “shut down Vietnamese markets” if they don’t get a reply.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM imposes nationwide Covid restrictions, curfew over Delta scare

    Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28 instructed the municipal and provincial authorities nationwide to strictly enforce Covid-19 measures including curfew for two weeks from July 29 midnight through August 12 to stem the new coronavirus Delta variant. The instruction came shortly after he issued a directive

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Provinces on Thai borders put in lockdown amid Delta fears

    The government has decided to place several border provinces in lockdown for two weeks in a bid to prevent the new coronavirus Delta variant spreading further into community. According a directive signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28, the provinces include Koh Kong,

  • Delta spreading in Kingdom

    Cambodia has so far detected more than 200 cases of the highly contagious coronavirus Delta variant, with 109 found on July 31 and August 1. The Ministry of Health has expressed deep concerns that the variant may have already reached communities and be spreading as some of the cases

  • China denies Mekong hacking

    As the US and its allies joined hands last week to expose what they allege to be China’s Ministry of State Security’s malicious cyber activities around the world, the attention also turned to Cambodia with the US Department of Justice claiming that four

  • US' Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines arrive

    The first batch of 455,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine donated by the US touched down in Phnom Penh on the morning of July 30. They are part of the total 1,060,100 doses the US has pledged to provide to Cambodia through the World Health Organisation-led (