L AOTIAN military has promised to leave Cambodian territory after recent
negotiations between provincial governors on both sides of the border, according
to a Ministry of Defense officer.
The governor of Cham Pasak, Laos,
agreed with his Stung Treng counterpart to have Laotian military checkpoints
withdraw from their base in Siem Pang district, two to four kms inside Camboida,
said the officer, who would not be named.
He said one Laotian check point
has already withdrawn.
The officer told the Post that the Lao military
had posted approximately 50 soldiers inside Cambodia since 1985. However, the
local governor had not reported this illegal entry to the central government at
"I think we had a very good relationship between the two
countries. This dispute should be negotiated, not by confrontation with any
He also confirmed that Laotian military had been logging and
hunting Cambodian territory, paying a fee to local Cambodian authorities on the
border, as the Post reported last month.
Samphon Sichaleun, second
secretary of the Lao Embassy in Phnom Penh, insisted that there was no sign of
Laotian military in Cambodia.
However, he admitted the Lao government has
not investigated the case.
"We can't say 'yes or no' because we haven't
investigated - but I think it is impossible and it is a terrible thing if our
army illegally entered Cambodia."
"If it has happened my government will
punish them heavily."
Sichaleun, told the Post that he hadn't recieved
any official letters from either the Lao or Cambodian government confirming
Laos' military presence on Cambodian territory.
He said: "It is very
regretful that some local and international media revealed the problem, which
could create problems for the relationship between the two countries.
are as brothers. We have had good a relationship and cooperation. And we are
also a small and poor country. How can (Laos) do such as thing? If we did so,
other countries would laugh," Sichaleun said.