Premier To Visit Preah Vihear, But Not Border

Prime Minister Hun Sen will visit Preah Vihear province today to open a local government office, officials said.

Defense Ministry spokesman Lieutenant General Chhum Such­eat, however, said the prime minister will not go anywhere near the Thai-Cambodian border or Preah Vihear temple.

Lt Gen Sucheat said Mr Hun Sen’s trip was not related to the border, as the new office building was in Preah Vihear city, which is located about 116 km from the frontier.

The already volatile relations between Thailand and Cambo­dia over the disputed borderline in Preah Vihear and other pro­vinces soured last week when the government sent a diplomatic note to Thailand, rebutting claims that recent building work at a pagoda near Preah Vihear temple had been carried out on Thai territory.

General Chea Dara, RCAF Dep­uty Commander-in-Chief, said Tuesday that Cambodian and Thai troops at the border have made plans to ease the current tension by playing sports and games with each other next week.

“We are playing games in order to ease the tensions,” Gen Dara said, adding that soldiers from both sides would play volleyball, petanque and Chinese chess.

Lt Gen Sucheat said the friendly matches, which will be carried out between May 17 and 21, were aimed at boosting understanding between the soldiers.

(Additional reporting by Mark Worley)


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