Thai, Cambodian PMs discuss border clashes

Saturday, April 11, 2009

PATTAYA, Thailand — Deadly border clashes between Thailand and Cambodia were caused by a “misunderstanding” and will not harm ties, the Thai premier said Friday after meeting his counterpart.

Abhisit Vejjajiva and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen met on the sidelines of an Asian summit here, their first encounter since three Thai soldiers died in fierce gunbattles near an ancient temple one week ago.

“During our bilateral talks we discussed the latest incident,” Abhisit told a press conference after the meeting.

“It happened because of a misunderstanding. The incident will not affect our relations and we will use channels of communication if anything happens in future.”

Abhisit said he would also visit Cambodia on April 18 to meet King Norodom Sihamoni, Hun Sen and other senior officials.

Tensions flared last July when the cliff-top building was awarded United Nations World Heritage status and four people died in clashes the following October.

Ownership of the temple was awarded to Cambodia in 1962 but the two countries are in dispute over five square kilometres (two square miles) of land around the temple which has yet to be officially demarcated.

Abhisit said that he had also discussed cooperation on their overlapping maritime zones and talked about financial assistance to improve the road in Cambodia that links up their border.


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