Kandal provincial governor Kong Sophorn said on Wednesday that Vietnamese officials disassembled seven more tents from the border in Kandal province after the government requested Vietnamese officials to remove them as quickly as possible.
Sophorn told The Post on Wednesday that Vietnam agreed to disassemble seven of the 22 tents remaining and moved four of them from other locations to its land 100m from the border.
He said Vietnamese officials requested permission to put tents on the border during the spread of Covid-19.
“If Vietnam still does not disassemble all its tents from those locations, we have to use the law. We should not use armed forces to solve the problem because we are friends. We never use violence with each other,” he said.
The Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on May 13 assigned its ambassador to Vietnam to discuss the 31 border tents that were put up without any agreement.
It requested Vietnamese officials to disassemble the tents and maintain the border’s original state according to a mutual declaration released on January 17, 1995, and a supplementary treaty in 2005.
On May 28, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said assembling tents did not affect the border between the two countries. Vietnamese officials promised to disassemble some of the tents in the areas.
In early May, Vietnamese military officials camped at 31 locations along the border of the Loeuk Dek and Koh Thom districts of Kandal province.
Royal Academy of Cambodia president Sok Touch said on Wednesday that if Vietnamese officials keep the tents 100m from the border, then it is legal.
“If Vietnam refuses to move all the tents away from the disputed border area, then it does not want to build a good relationship with Cambodia. Vietnam should return to the signed bilateral agreements between the two governments,” he said.
Kin Phea, the director of the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute, said: “Camping on the border that is not fully agreed by both parties is unreasonable.
“I think Vietnam should value Cambodia on behalf of its neighbours. We have cooperated well for years,” he said.