Thai-Cambodian ties enter a new era

Exactly 37 days before Samdech Moha Borvor Thipadei Hun Manet was due to fly to Bangkok on Feb 7 for a one-day official visit, Cambodia extended Thai border pass access to Siem Reap, where Angkor Wat is located. This was an act of goodwill as the proposal has been on the table for discussions since Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s visit to Phnom Penh in September — his first official foreign destination after being elected Thai leader.

Previously, residents of seven Thai provinces — Trat, Chanthaburi, Sa Kaeo, Buriram, Surin, Si Sa Ket, and Ubon Ratchathani — had been able to cross the border to adjacent Cambodian territory without any passport. Similarly, the residents of seven Cambodian provinces — Koh Kong, Pursat, Battambang, Pailin, Banteay Meanchey, Oddar Meanchey and Preah Vihear — could cross into Thailand.

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