CAMBODIA has again urged Thailand to help seal major crossing points used by Khmer
Rouge as a life-line for their guerrilla warfare in the country.
Second Prime Minister Hun Sen raised the proposal in a meeting with Thai Foreign
Minister Thaksin Shinawatra who paid a five-hour visit to the Kingdom on Dec 21.
He urged Thailand to shut major crossing points the KR have used to ship logistic
supplies such as petrol, food and medicine to feed their forces inside Cambodia,
Svay Sitha, a spokesman for the meeting, quoted the premier as telling the Thai foreign
Thaksin was also quoted by the spokesman as saying that it was difficult for Thailand
to man the 880-kilometer boundary.
The spokesman said Hun Sen agreed it would be impossible to have every one-meter
interval of the border guarded by armed units.
However, he said closing those crossing points would prevent the rebels from transporting
supplies in large trucks, thus reducing their source of income and weakening them
Hun Sen, Sitha said, paid acknowledgement for the Thai government's order on their
border provinces to sever links with the guerrilla group and signified cooperation
between the two countries in settling border issues.
"We will continue our cooperation in solving border problems. If we can, the
great benefit from peace will be to those [civilians] living along the border,"
Sitha quoted Hun Sen saying.
Hun Sen and Thaksin shared a common view that the only weapon used for fighting the
KR is eliminating poverty in the countryside, and the Second Premier expressed thanks
for Thailand's assistance of a rural development project in Pursat province.
Thaksin also talked with Cambodian Foreign Minister Ung Huot about setting up a joint-commission
on a local and regional basis as a mechanism to defuse border insecurity.
The second prime minister said he intended to pay a working visit to Thaland, where
he will also meet with Thai businessmen who have traded with the KR in order to re-affirmed
Phnom Penh's committment to respect their contracts. No date for the visit has yet
to be established.
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