Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Half of GBC dance card filled

Half of GBC dance card filled

Half of GBC dance card filled

Cambodia will send an invitation to Thailand once again for the 8th Cambodian-Thai General Border Committee meeting to be held in late December, officials said yesterday.

Lieutenant General Chhum Socheat, spokesman for the Ministry of Defence, said yesterday that Cambodia has invited Thailand twice already this year to the GBC meeting, but Thailand postponed due to the elections and flooding. “We have prepared everything for the meeting,” said Chhum Socheat.

“We are waiting for Thailand to confirm a convenient time, but it would likely be in late December.”

Chhum Socheat said the meeting was primarily to discuss cooperation along the border, combating border crimes, terrorism and smuggling and strengthening security.

For this meeting, the two countries will also have on their agenda the International Court of Justice order of the withdrawal of troops from the demilitarized zones near Preah Vihear temple.

On July 18, the ICJ ordered both Cambodian and Thai  troops stationed along the border to be withdrawn from the 17.3-square kilometre surrounding area of Preah

Vihear temple following deadly clashes along the border, which killed at least 10 people and displaced thousands of villagers.

Chhum Socheat’s comments come after Thai media reported the Thai Defence Minister, General Yutthasak Sasiprapa, said Thailand was waiting for an invitation from Cambodia for the meeting.  

General Yutthasak was reported as saying that redeployment of troops would be discussed at the meeting and the gathering would be held in a positive atmosphere.

Troops on both sides have been positioned along the border near Preah Vihear since July 2008 after the temple was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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