The border crossing at Preah Vihear temple was reopened Wednesday morning following a meeting between Cambodian and Thai officials, though new problems appear to have surfaced at another Thai-Cambodian crossing, authorities said.
Long Sovann, deputy governor of Preah Vihear province, said the border reopening proceeded without incident.
“Everything is going ahead,” Long Sovann said. “The gate was unlocked Wednesday morning, and people on both sides can cross.”
The Preah Vihear border crossing closed in mid-May amid rising tensions over a build-up of Thai soldiers on neutral land near the temple. The troops have since withdrawn.
Wednesday’s border negotiations were carried out in front of about 80 people, including Thai and Cambodian officials and reporters.
Even as the situation at one Thai-Cambodian border crossing was returning to normal, however, some Thai officials have called on their prime minister to cancel a border pass agreement with Cambodia, according to a report in Wednesday’s Bangkok Post newspaper.
Since the agreement was signed last year, an influx of Cambodians have entered Thailand using fake passes or pretending to be tourists, according to a Thai police officer quoted in the news report.
Under an agreement signed last year, Cambodians can buy a border pass that allows them to travel no further than Thailand’s Prachin Buri province for no more than seven days at a time.
Poipet checkpoint immigration police Chief Pich Saran acknowledged that many Cambodian workers have been using the passes to travel deeper into Thailand to find better jobs.
“They went up to Bangkok,” Pich Saran said. “This is a problem, but it is hard to control.”
In response, Thai authorities have stepped up their checks on Cambodians both at the border and deeper inside the country, said Mao Borei, Poipet passport detector inspector.
The border pass agreement is set to expire in November, according to the Bangkok Post.