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Cambodian, Thai defense ministers to talk on border cooperation

English.news.cn   2013-05-01 16:28:14            

PHNOM PENH, May 1 (Xinhua) -- The 9th Cambodia-Thailand General Border Committee (9th GBC) meeting will be held in Thailand on May 16-17 in order to discuss measures to strengthen peace, stability and cooperation along the border, a Cambodian defense official said Wednesday.

"The meeting will be co-chaired by the two countries' defense ministers (Gen. Tea Banh of Cambodia and Gen. Sukumpol Suwanatat of Thailand)," Neang Phat, secretary of state of the defense ministry, told reporters at Phnom Penh International Airport before he left for Bangkok to attend a preparatory meeting with Thai defense officials.

He said the forthcoming 9th GBC meeting will focus discussion on cooperation to strengthen security along the border through jointly fighting against cross-border crimes, drug trafficking, and other illegal activities in order to build a border of peace, stability, cooperation and development.

"The meeting will also discuss measures to avoid (military) confrontations that may affect the two countries' development and people livelihoods," he said.

Besides, it will discuss ways to clear landmines in the World Court-defined Provisional Demilitarized Zone surrounding Cambodia' s Preah Vihear Temple, he said.

Cambodia and Thailand have had sporadic border conflicts over territorial dispute near Cambodia's Preah Vihear Temple since the UNESCO listed the temple as a World Heritage Site on July 7, 2008, but Thailand claims the ownership of 4.6 square kilometers of scrub next to the temple.

Deadly clashes between the both sides' troops occurred in February and April 2011 during the rule of former Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

Military tensions have eased since August 2011 when ex-Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's Pheu Thai Party won a general election and led the current government.

Last month, the two countries delivered their oral statements on the dispute to the World Court in the Netherlands and the court is expected to issue a decision on who owns the disputed land around the temple later this year.

The 8th GBC meeting was held in Phnom Penh in December 2011.

Editor: Zhu Ningzhu
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