Cambodia, Thailand Agree to New Checkpoint

Cambodian officials have de­nied a request from Thailand to reopen a disputed border checkpoint at Preah Vihear temple, but have agreed to a proposal to open a new checkpoint about nine km from the original border crossing.

“We did not talk about the re­opening of the Preah Vihear check­point because [we were at a] stalemate,” said Preah Vihear pro­vince Governor Preap Tann, who led a delegation that spent Mon­day and Tuesday in Si Sa Ket pro­vince in Thailand discus­sing the is­sue with Thai authorities.

Thai authorities closed the Preah Vihear border checkpoint Dec 17 after Thais complained that Cam­bo­dian villagers at a nearby market were polluting their water supply. At the meeting in Si Sa Ket, Thai officials said it was actually Thai sol­diers in the area who shut down the checkpoint, said a Cam­bo­dian official who attended the meeting.

Cambodian and Thai provincial authorities are still waiting for their respective governments to ap­prove the new border crossing, which is scheduled to be built at Ta­thav, according to Preap Tann.

He said Preah Vihear provincial authorities sent a proposal to the national government suggesting a road be built connecting the Tathav border crossing to Preah Vihear temple and con­tinuing another 80 km into the province.

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