At Preah Vihear, Defense Chief Praises Peace With Thailand

Despite recent tensions over the mass exodus of Cambodian workers fleeing the Thai junta’s crackdown on illegal workers, government officials said Monday the situation between the two countries is perfectly normal during a celebration of the sixth anniversary of Preah Vihear temple’s listing as a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Defense Minister Tea Banh said the border dispute over the temple compound, which last led to military clashes in 2011, should no longer concern people living in the area.

“This is not a problem that either country wants,” he said. “Now the situation is easier than before.”

Speaking to about 1,000 soldiers, police, government officials and students gathered for the occasion, Chuch Phoeun, chairman of the National Authority for Preah Vihear, also stressed the importance of good relations with Thailand.

“There is not a problem between our authorities and the Thai authorities, and the armed forces also have normal relations with each other,” he said.

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