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Tensions ease between neighbors

Tensions ease between neighbors

SIGNS of improvement emerged in the tense relations between Cambodia and Vietnam

after the leaders of the two countries agreed to settle their border disputes peacefully.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet, accompanied by a 40-strong delegation, met

with Cambodian Prime Ministers Norodom Ranariddh and Hun Sen on April 10.

Sok An, co-minister of the Cabinet of Ministers, said issues of border and Vietnamese

residents in Cambodia were raised during the session which was held behind closed

door for nearly two hours.

"We can conclude that this talk has a very positive result," An told reporters

after the meeting.

On how to settle border issues, An said local authorities of the two countries would

discuss matters of local border disputes. He added that if they failed to reach a

solution, they could refer the matter to higher levels of government.

On his return from Hanoi on April 2, Sar Kheng, co-minister of Interior, said that

Cambodia and Vietnam agreed to solve their border differences without using any armed

confrontation.

Border tension between the two countries re-erupted three months ago when Ranariddh

accused Vietnam of violating the Jan 17, 1995 joint communiqué and of invading

Cambodian territory. Ranariddh threatened to resort to the use of military means

to reclaim the land if Vietnam refused to withdraw. Vietnam has denied the allegations

and described it as "regretable".

In a radio address one day after his meeting with Kiet, Ranariddh backed off from

his threat, favoring instead peaceful solutions

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