Border Talks End; Demarcation Date Tentative

siem reap town – The Thai-Cam­bodian Joint Border Com­mission ended its meeting Tuesday with propositions on the final delimitation of non-controversial parts of the border and a tentative date to start demarcation of the disputed area near Preah Vihear temple, Cam­bodian officials said.

The commission’s role is only technical, and it will be up to For­eign Affairs Minister Hor Nam­hong and his Thai counterpart Som­pong Amornvivat to discuss—and possibly sign—the JBC’s propositions when they meet in Siem Reap today, Var Kimhong, chairman of the JBC’s Cambodian side, told reporters after the meeting.

“What we have agreed upon is positive. We could not solve everything right now and we need more time to examine [the issues],” Var Kimhong said.

The commission finalized technical papers to demarcate parts of the border the two sides have been working on since 2006, so the foreign affairs ministers can examine and sign them today, Var Kimhong said.

The Preah Vihear area was also discussed and demarcation there could begin in late December, he said, adding that which map the countries would use had not yet been discussed.

He added that RCAF Region 4 commander Chea Morn and De­fense Ministry Undersecretary of State Chum Socheat were also present to discuss troop withdrawal with the Thais.

“The troop issue should be discussed in more detail Wednesday,” he said.

The Thai co-chairman of the commission, Vasin Teeravech­yan, declined to speak to report­ers after the meeting, referring questions to his Cambodian counterpart.

The Thai delegation also proposed the creation of a mixed monitoring group to survey the withdrawal of both countries’ troops around Preah Vihear temple, so that the demining and demarcation teams can do their work, Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said.

“The Thais proposed, but that’s one that they’ll leave up to the foreign ministers to make a decision [on],” he added.

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