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PM mulls Somchai meeting

PM mulls Somchai meeting

Hun Sen may meet Thai PM for private talks in Vietnam

PRIME Minister Hun Sen is considering holding private talks with Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat during his upcoming visit to Vietnam, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary of State Koy Kuong said Tuesday.

He added that the meeting,  which would come as the two countries grapple over a territorial dispute, would not be on Hun Sen's official itinerary.

"Prime Minister Hun Sen has not scheduled an official meeting with Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, but [he] may set his own schedule to meet in private with the Thai prime minister for discussions," Koy Kuong said.

Somchai told reporters late Monday that he might have a chance to see Hun Sen during the Ayeyarwady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) meeting, to be held in Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday and Friday.

The two prime ministers last met in China to discuss tensions along their shared border that erupted in violence last month when Cambodian and Thai troops opened fire on each other near the famed Preah Vihear temple.

A long-standing row over contested border land escalated in July after Preah Vihear was listed as a Unesco World Heritage site, angering Thai nationalists who consider the 11th-century monument as part of Thailand.

Since then, thousands of troops from both sides have massed on the border. Previous negotiations have done little to ease the standoff.

Hun Sen and a high-level Cambodian delegation flew to Vietnam on Tuesday for a five-day trip, which includes the ACMECS strategy session with Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand.

Hun Sen adviser Sri Thamarong said Cambodia is also expecting to sign five bilateral agreements with Vietnam, including accords on visa exemptions and trade.

Plans for a railway running between Singapore and Kunming, China, will also be discussed.

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