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Gov’t again challenges Vietnam on border

Gov’t again challenges Vietnam on border

The Cambodian government yesterday renewed its public call on Vietnam to halt activities it says are encroaching on Cambodian territory, this time citing a military post currently under construction along the border in Kandal province’s Koh Thom district.

In a diplomatic note sent to the Vietnamese Embassy, the Foreign Affairs Ministry asked Vietnam to halt construction on the post, highlighting other similar requests. Those include one lodged at a Joint Border Commission meeting in Hanoi in April and a diplomatic note dated June 8.

The new note also mentions that provincial authorities in Kandal had communicated the same request to Vietnamese officials in An Giang province on April 21 and June 9.

“Therefore, the Royal Government of Cambodia reiterates its request to the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to cease immediately the said activities until the [Joint Border Commission] of the two countries has completely demarcated this area.”

Yesterday’s note follows two other requests to stop alleged Vietnamese encroachment in Ratanakkiri province, where seven ponds have been dug.

That issue has been seized upon by the opposition, which has long made Vietnamese border issues a key political platform.

Speaking during a radio program yesterday, Cambodia National Rescue Party deputy leader Kem Sokha said the border complaints should be taken to an international body.

The CNRP has asked for border demarcation to cease until after national elections in 2018.

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