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Phnom Trop becomes a flashpoint

Phnom Trop becomes a flashpoint

CAMBODIAN and Thai military commanders are scheduled to meet for negotiations today after Thai troops asked Cambodian forces to retreat from a border area near Preah Vihear temple, military officials said.

Yim Phim, the commander of Royal Cambodian Armed Forces Brigade 8, said RCAF General Srey Doek will meet with his Thai counterparts to discuss the disagreement and assert Cambodia’s claim to the Phnom Trop area, located adjacent to the temple in the disputed zone claimed by both Cambodia and Thailand.
“Thai troops are dreaming if they think Cambodian soldiers will move away from that area,” Yim Phim said. “We will not move forward or back.”
Yim Phim said Cambodian and Thai troops at Phnom Trop discussed the potential withdrawal of troops from the area this past weekend for about two hours. Though they did not reach a solution, the situation remains calm, he said.
Colonel Meas Yoeun, RCAF deputy military commander for Preah Vihear province, said Thailand has been repositioning its troops recently, but added that the movements are no cause for alarm.
“We have not been surprised by the movements of the Thai troops,” Meas Yoeun said. “Soldiers on the battlefield are like the boxers in the ring – always moving around.”
Om Yentieng, chairman of the government’s Human Rights Committee, told reporters on Tuesday that at a meeting between Prime Minister Hun Sen and Surya Subedi, the UN’s special rapporteur for human rights in Cambodia, Subedi expressed support for the Kingdom’s protection of its territorial sovereignty.
“[Subedi] assured Samdech Hun Sen that Cambodia is not isolated in this matter,” Om Yentieng said. “The UN will support Cambodia in defending Cambodian territory.”
Subedi also offered his support for Cambodia’s membership in UNESCO, Om Yentieng added.

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