A Change of Guard

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Saturday, 25 October 2008

Thai, Cambodian leaders agree to avoid military stand-offs

Thai regional army commander Wiboonsak Neeparn (L) exchanges signed documents regarding the two borders with his Cambodian counterpart, General Chea Morn, Cambodia general commander of the 4th region, after the 11th meeting of regional border committee between the 4th military region of Cambodia and the 2rd Army area of Thailand at a hotel in Siem Reap province, 320 km (199 miles) north of Phnom Penh, October 24, 2008.

REUTERS /Chor Southeast (Reuters)

BANGKOK, Oct 24 (TNA) – Thailand's Prime Minister and his Cambodian counterpart Prime Minister Hun Sen agreed in Beijing to avoid their military confrontation along the border, according to the Thai foreign minister, on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).

The two national leaders held informal talks on their countries' border skirmishes during their face to face meeting.

Thai foreign minister Sompong Amornvivat said the atmosphere of the two leaders' meeting was amicable.

It not only eased border tensions, but it also strengthened the two countries' relations and cooperation, Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong said.

Meanwhile, Thai and Cambodian military commanders met at the Regional Border Committee (RBC) held in Siem Reap on Friday.

Thailand's Second Army commander, Lt-Gen. Wiboonsak Neepal, and Cambodia's Fourth Army commander, Gen. Chea Mon held talks at the meeting, aiming to end the border dispute following the armed clash near Preah Vihear temple on October 16.

They agreed to avoid military confrontation for order and the well-being of residents along the border. Accordingly, Thailand and Cambodia agreed to exercise the utmost restraint. They also agreed to ease tensions at Ta Muan Thom temple and Ta Kwai temple in Surin peacefully.

The firefight left two Cambodian soldiers dead and seven Thai troops wounded, while one Thai paramilitary ranger died in hospital earlier this week. (TNA)

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