PM Thanks King for Signing Border Agreement

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.


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