Gov’t, VN Agree to Add Six Crossings

Cambodia and Vietnam concluded three days of talks on border issues with an agreement to “submit proposals” to their gov­ern­ments on the opening and up­grading of six new official border crossings, officials said.

Also, a second international border crossing will be established in Kirivong district, Takeo pro­vince. Currently, travelers who are not Cambodian or Viet­namese can cross into Vietnam only at the Bavet crossing in Svay Rieng province.

The six planned “national” border crossings will be opened in Ta­keo, Svay Rieng, Prey Veng and Kompong Cham provinces, and will be open only to Cambo­dians and Vietnamese. The new crossings should enhance economic development between the two countries, officials said. “We agreed to demarcate the bor­der limits by the end of the year and will respect where [people from each country] will stay,” said Var Kim Hong, head of the Council of Ministers Joint Border Commit­tee. “Officials from both sides will try to educate their own lo­cal authorities to respect the borders.”

Le Cong Phung, deputy foreign affairs minister and leader of the 14-member Vietnamese delegation, said any border disputes would be settled without conflict.

“Both sides agree to solve any border issues in order with friendship and cooperation,” Le Cong Phung said Wednesday.

Neither official mentioned any specific border disputes that the two countries will try to solve.

Recently, a led by Prin­cess Norodom Va­cheara went to Svay Rieng and reported that Vietnam­ese farmers were cultivating rice on land in a disputed border area. In response, Vietnam­ese For­eign Ministry spokesperson Phan Thuy Thanh was quoted by Voice of Vietnam radio as saying June 6 that the Vietnam­ese government was “very surprised and indignant at recent slanderous statements made by some Cambodian figures saying that Vietnam violates its common border with Vietnam.”

“Those statements are completely groundless,” Phan Thuy Thanh said.

They do not contribute to promoting the neighborly friendship and fine cooperation between Vietnam and Cambodia,” Phan Thuy Thanh said.


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