Vietnam Agrees to Hasten Border Demarcation

Cambodia and Vietnam agreed to hasten the demarcation of their shared border and not allow “hostile forces” and “extremists” to threaten security during a two-day meeting in Ho Chi Minh City that wrapped up Wednesday, according to Vietnamese and Cambodian newspapers.

The seventh meeting on border province cooperation and development, co-chaired by Interior Minister Sar Kheng, came a few months after a series of CNRP-led protests led to clashes along disputed stretches of the border where Cambodians accuse Vietnam of encroachment.

An article in the National Police Newspaper cites Interior Ministry Secretary of State Prum Sokha as saying that the meeting reduced tension over the border, and established stronger lines of communication if future conflicts arise.

“Prum Sokha said the difficulty the two parties have faced, especially the challenges caused by the opposition party and extremists, have also been discussed and solved,” the report says. “In addition, the two parties, Cambodia and Vietnam, agree to communicate about all the challenging issues that could happen in the future.”

Officials at the Interior Ministry could not be reached for comment.

According to an account of the meeting by Thanh Nien News, the two sides “agreed to hasten land border demarcation and marker planting and pledged not to allow hostile forces use their respective territories to sabotage the other nation’s security and stability.”

According to the news report, the two delegations also agreed to upgrade commercial facilities along the border and boost bilateral trade, currently at about $2.5 billion a year, to $5 billion “in the near future.”

The report says they also discussed mutual assistance in the agriculture, forestry, fishing and health care sectors, but provided no details. The neighbors last held a meeting focused on their border provinces in 2012 and plan to convene again next year in Cambodia.

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