Cambodia To Define Border With Thailand

The chairman of the Border Dispute Commission at the Coun­cil of Ministers said Monday that work will begin in coming months to clearly define the border with Thailand and put an end to charges of encroachment.

“I am going to seek out the 73 bor­der markers installed by the French, and we are going to use sat­ellites or airplanes to find them,” commission chairman Var Kim Hong said.

“I will ask the Thai side to in­stall the border markers in the or­ig­­inal locations where the French put them if they have been moved into Cambodian territory,” he said.

France’s colonial administration in Indochina built brick mar­kers along the 805-km border with Thailand in the early 1900s, Var Kim Hong said.

He added that any efforts to define the long-disputed border will require the cooperation of both nations.

“It would be useless if we went to post border markers without participation from the Thai side, because we need international recognition,” Var Kim Hong said.

In June 2000, an official from Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Af­fairs signed a memorandum of un­derstanding with Var Kim Hong.

That paper was meant to open the way for land surveys of disputed areas along the border and eventually define it.

But territorial conflicts have continued since then.

The Bangkok Post reported last week that Thai military officials had charged Cambodians with trying to build a road and shops on Thai territory near the Preah Vihear temple.

Preah Vihear provincial Gover­nor Preap Tan on Sunday called for the countries’ border commissions to jointly put an end to the misunderstanding.

Var Kim Hong called the re­ported accusation “unacceptable.”

“Developments around Preah Vihear have not encroached on Thai territory,” he said.

Songchai Chaipatiyut, the Thai Embassy’s second secretary, de­clined on Sunday and Monday to comment on the charges of Cam­bodian encroachment repor­ted by the Thai newspaper.

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