Cambodia, Thailand to Hold Joint Border Talks ‘Very Soon’

Cambodia will host a long-de­layed 8th General Border Com­mit­tee meeting as early as later this month, according to officials.

Initially scheduled for April, the bi­lateral meeting to discuss border security and relations had been re­peatedly delayed over in­creasing ten­sions between the two countries. Following Thai­land’s July 3 national elections—which saw a sweep by the Cam­bodia-friendly Pheu Thai Party—the channels of communication have broadened considerably.

“It will be at the end of this month or the beginning of next month,” said the spokesman for the Thai Min­istry of Defense, Veerachon Su­kondhadhpatipak. “At the moment, we don’t know exactly when.”

While the date and location of the meeting have not yet been made public, Chhum Sucheat, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, said it would be “very soon” and confirmed it would be held in Cambodia.

“We sent an invitation to the Min­­­ister of Defense and one to the secretariat,” said Lieutenant Gen­eral Sucheat. “Normally, be­fore we hold the meeting…the sec­re­tariat of the two ministries meet to form the schedule and draw up the documents.”

Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a po­litical researcher at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, said yesterday that the GBC would likely re­sult in an agreement precluding the need for Indonesian obser­vers.

“There is a good chance that both sides will return to a bilateral framework,” he wrote via e-mail yesterday.

“We have to understand that Cam­bodia’s earlier proposal to in­clude Asean was a part of wanting to internationalize the issue. Now that both sides are willing to talk, they may not see the need to in­volve the third party.”

—Cambodia To Host Border Talks With Thailand


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