Officials Plan Meeting To Ease Temple Dispute Provincial Officials

tbeng meanchey town, Preah Vihear province – Provincial officials have been invited by Thai authorities to negotiate with their Thai counterparts over the simmering dispute at Preah Vihear Tem­ple, the province’s first de­puty governor, Pall San, said Wed­nes­day.

Pall San said he was contacted by Thailand on Wednesday and will attend the meeting with provincial Governor Preap Tann in the coming days.

“Since May 11 until [Wednes­day] we had no negotiations with the Thais,” he said. “This is a good sign for both countries.”

Officials from RCAF’s Military Region 4 had asked Thai troops to withdraw from the area around the temple on Tuesday, but they de­clined.

Though an end to the dispute ap­pears in sight, provincial officials and NGOs based in the province appealed on Wednesday for supplies and equipment to be sent to Cam­bodian troops based at the his­toric temple.

Cambodian troops were previously able to buy food from Thai­land but are now unable to because the border has been closed for several days, Pall San said.

“I would like to appeal to hu­manitarian or other organizations to help provide noodles or food to the province and we will take it to the temples,” Pall San said.

“We need food for the soldiers, they have nothing,” he said. “The soldiers have not electricity. They are living according to nature.”

In contrast, the Thai soldiers on the opposite side of the border have electricity, good roads and well-built military posts, said Men Sara, Adhoc provincial coordinator.

Despite the hardships “their spi­rits are very high,” Men Sara said.

In the drowsy, spacious provincial capital Tbeng Meanchey, some residents said they were frightened by the border spat while other said it was merely cross-border posturing.

“I’m not worried by the Thais, it’s just a threat,” farmer Soeng Mouth said.



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