Laos and Cambodia are to open consulates on either side of the Stung Treng border in response to ongoing cross-border issues.
Laos’ Stung Treng consulate is to be inaugurated on June 30, and Cambodia’s – in Laos’ Cham Pasak province – on July 1, according to a Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement released on Saturday.
The announcement followed a trip to Laos by Foreign Minister Prak Sokhorn on June 16 and 17, during which the two countries agreed to continue to cooperate on public order and drug trafficking issues.
Stung Treng has long been a point of entry for methamphetamine smuggled from Laos into the Kingdom; almost 55kg of drugs seized in an operation last year crossed into Cambodia at the Stung Treng border.
Stung Treng provincial government spokesman Men Kung said the consulates would enable both countries to respond to the growing crime threat and deal with border disputes, such as the contentious construction of a Laotian army base close to the border.
“It will be easy to solve issues happening at the border such as cross-border land conflicts, illegal migration ... We’re giving a lot more attention to drug-related issues,” he said. “We’re dealing with it regularly and we’ll be able to solve the issues in a timely fashion because they [the consulates] will be there.”