Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday thanked King Norodom Sihamoni for signing the supplemental border agreement with Vietnam, while the Sam Rainsy Party expressed its concerns about the treaty.
King Sihamoni announced Wednesday that he had signed off on the treaty after being convinced that it was both legal and necessary.
Hun Sen, speaking at the inauguration of a road construction project in Kompong Cham province, said the King had put an end to the controversial border issue and paved the way for peace along the border.
“It gives Cambodia lawful land-title” to develop the border, Hun Sen said, thanking those who had ratified or signed the treaty.
“Building factories at the border is better than deploying mortars, artillery, like during wartime,” Hun Sen added.
Sam Rainsy Party Acting President Kong Korm reaffirmed that the opposition did not support the treaty and “reserves the right to declare [the treaty] null and void” if his party ever takes power.
He noted that opposition lawmakers walked out of the National Assembly in protest during the ratification of the agreement last month.
Committee for Free and Fair Elections Director Koul Panha predicted that the border treaty would remain a political issue.
Though the government perhaps should have held a public referendum on the border issue, Koul Panha said, the government is still legal and internationally recognized, so its treaties with neighboring countries are likely to stand.