A closed-door meeting on the sidelines of the ASEAN Defence Ministers meeting yesterday saw Cambodia and Thailand take what they hope is the next step toward the eventual withdrawal of troops from the disputed area around Preah Vihear temple.
Cambodian Minister of Defence Tea Banh and his Thai counterpart, Sukumpol Suwanatat, agreed to a second meeting of the Cambodia-Thailand Joint Working Group of the General Border Commission, scheduling it for early next month in Phnom Penh, officials said.
“We have the will to implement this matter [withdrawal] and Thailand has realised that a slowing down of proceedings is not good for Thailand,” Sukumpol said after the meeting.
The first JWG meeting was hosted in Bangkok in April, during which no agreement was finalised over the withdrawal of troops from the 17.3-square-kilometer Provisional Demilitarised Zone declared by the International Court of Justice in June.
To contact the reporter on this story: Vong Sokheng at [email protected]