Gov’t Rejects 2nd Thai Border Claim to Cambodian Territory

The government has rebutted a se­cond complaint reportedly made by Thailand about building work being carried out on the Thai-Cambodian border.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday released a letter sent to the Thai government rejecting claims by Bangkok that recent repair work at the Keo Sikha Kiri Svara pagoda near Preah Vihear temple was carried out on Thai territory.

Sent on Tuesday, the letter followed a day after the Foreign Mi­ni­stry publicly released a similarly worded letter, also sent to the Thai go­vernment, denying claims by Thailand that a cable car near Ta Krabey temple in Oddar Mean­chey province was being built on Thai soil.

“The Kingdom of Cambodia wishes to reiterate that the Keo Sikha Kiri Svara pagoda, which is lo­cated in the vicinity of the Temple of Preah Vihear, is clearly situated within the territory of Cambodia according to the Dangrek Map drawn by the Franco-Siamese Commission in 1908,” the government states in its latest letter.

“The recent repair work at the…pagoda was conducted entirely wi­­­thin the territory of Cambodia. Cam­­bodia, therefore, totally rejects once again the baseless allegation of the Mi­nistry of Foreign Affairs of Thai­­­land.”

Cambodian Foreign Ministry spokes­man Koy Kuong said yesterday that the two letters were sent in re­sponse to two separate notes re­ceived by the Cambodian Embas­sy in Bang­kok on April 9.

Mr Kuong declined to release a copy of the original notes sent by Thai­land, saying that only the Thai Mi­nistry of Foreign Affairs could make the documents public. A person who answer­ed the phone at the Thai Mini­stry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said no officials were working as it was a public holiday.

Mr Kuong said the border de­mar­cation process with Thailand had stalled due to Thailand’s “un­wil­ling­ness” to talk to Cambodia about bor­­der issues in good faith.

“We have tried to be patient…but the Thai side is not willing,” Mr Ku­ong said.

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