Border Meeting Will Discuss Outpost Construction

With Vietnamese authorities continuing to construct an outpost along a disputed stretch of border, the building has been added to the agenda of a late August meeting of the countries’ Joint Border Committee, an official said.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry sent a diplomatic note to Hanoi early this month complaining about the construction, but has yet to receive a response, said Koy Pisey, vice chairman of the border committee.

“We will have a peaceful discussion,” Ms. Pisey said of the meeting scheduled for August 29. “We don’t want to have a war between the two countries.”

Both governments have supposedly agreed to refrain from any development along the border between Ratanakkiri province and Vietnam’s Gia Lai province.

However, construction on the outpost was continuing, according to deputy Ratanakkiri governor Nhem Sam Oeun.

The Vietnamese “say they have been building inside their territory, but according to the agreement, both countries are not allowed to build anything along the border that has not been agreed on,” he said.

“When our forces go down there to talk with them, they stop, and when our forces withdraw, they continue to build.”

narim@cambodiadaily.com

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