Cambodia, Thailand begin border talks

November 11th, 2008 - 2:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Phnom Penh, Nov 11 (Xinhua) Cambodian and Thai officials started a fresh round of border talks in Siem Reap to hammer out an agenda to resolve the standoff over disputed land, media reported Tuesday. “We have moved forward with a big step in resolving the border issue,” Var Kimhong, head of Cambodia’s border committee, was quoted by the Phnom Penh Post as saying.

He added that the two countries would make it a priority to demarcate territory around the 11th-century temple as soon as it is cleared of land mines.

“We have also agreed to determine the location that needs to be measured in area around Preah Vihear temple,” he said.

The three-day talks will end Wednesday with a meeting between the two foreign ministers in the latest bid to resolve the border dispute.

In July, tensions at the Cambodian-Thai border ran high after Cambodia’s ancient Hindu temple Preah Vihear was awarded world heritage status by Unesco, angering nationalists in Thailand who still claim ownership of the site.

The tension later turned into a military stalemate, in which up to 1,000 Cambodian and Thai troops faced off for several weeks.

In 1962, the International Court of Justice decided that the Preah Vihear temple and its surrounding area belong to Cambodia.

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