Thailand, Cambodia reach temple agreement 2009-02-08 13:52:00   Print

    BEIJING, Feb. 8 -- Cambodian Prime Minister, Hun Sen, says Cambodia and Thailand have solved all their main differences in the 8-month-long dispute surrounding the Preah Vihear temple.

    Wan Chunning has more on Friday's meeting between Hun Sen and Thai Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan.

    The two sides have agreed to withdraw their remaining troops from the disputed pagoda situated near the 900-year-old temple. The troops will be replaced by joint observers next month to facilitate de-mining and border demarcation.

A Cambodian soldier guards an entrance gate of Preah Vihear temple. (File photo from
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    Hun Sen told reporters after the meeting that the two sides have agreed to jointly demarcate the area.

    Hun Sen, said, "I think we can accept the agreement that there are no troops in the area around Preah Vihear (PREH VEE-HEAR) pagoda and temple. We also agree to create a temporary task force to de-mine together in that area and also create a border committee to determine the border demarcation. So I think that area is no longer an area where there is confrontation by the two armies."

    He also said the two neighbors will work together to develop the area for tourism.

    One Thai and three Cambodian soldiers died in an exchange of rifle and rocket fire near the temple in October. Both sides accused the each other of starting the violence.

    The Preah Vihear temple sits on an escarpment that forms a natural border between the two countries, and has been a source of tension for generations.


Editor: Mo Hong'e
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