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Thailand agrees to put border statue on hold

Thailand agrees to put border statue on hold

Thai military officials agreed yesterday to halt construction of a Buddhist statue near the border after talks with their Cambodian counterparts, officials reported yesterday.

Lieutenant Colonel Chit Ly, police commander of Battalion 815 at the border, said Cambodian and Thai officials held negotiations for half an hour yesterday at the government’s behest.

On Monday, Cambodian border protection units noticed the statue under construction while patrolling the border in Banteay Meanchey province’s Malai district.

The statue, in Sa Kaeo province’s Aranyaprathet district, was less than 50 metres from the Cambodian border, violating a Memo of Understanding from 2000, in which both countries agreed to avoid development within 50 metres of the border until it was demarcated.

“Thai village and commune chiefs, including military officials, agreed with our request to temporarily stop building the Buddhist statue,” Chit Ly said.

Thai foreign affairs spokesman Thani Thongphadi could not be reached.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vong Sokheng at [email protected]


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