New Thai ambassador to Cambodia Cherdkiat Atthakor said Bangkok will do its utmost to promote cooperation on demining activities along the border, with Cambodia having set the target of being mine free by 2025.

Cherdkiat made the pledge at a December 27 meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong to exchange courtesies.

At the meeting, Namhong – who highlighted the similarities between the neighbouring countries, which both practised the same school of Buddhism and had similar languages and traditions – commended the new Thai envoy on his posting and wished him every success.

“Our two countries have established collaborative mechanisms to strengthen cooperation, such as the Cambodia-Thailand General Border Committee, co-chaired by the two defence ministers, and the Thai-Cambodian Joint Border Commission.

“Meetings between the governors of border provinces are also held to strengthen cooperation and friendship between the two countries, and to resolve any border issues,” Namhong said.

The Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) and Thailand should – to remove the hidden threats to the lives of citizens of both countries – do whatever they could to completely demine the borders before defining them, he added.

Cherdkiat said he would foster demining cooperation along 22km of the Cambodian-Thai border, while doing his best during his tenure to further strengthen and develop relationships, cooperation and friendships between the kingdoms.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said at a groundbreaking ceremony for the upgrading of National Road 41 on December 26 that the remaining demining work would be expedited to provide safe land for Cambodians by 2025.

“I am accelerating the remaining demining work and allowing members of the Chinese Army to come and assist their Cambodian counterparts in clearing landmines.

“We will do whatever it takes to completely clear landmines by 2025 to prevent danger for our people and provide safe land for Cambodians to grow rice,” he said.