>Thai military cancels talks with Cambodia on border dispute

>Anti-government protesters wave the national flag at Government House this week in Bangkok. They have since refused the Thai PM’s requests to disperse. (Photograph by : Chumsak Kanoknan/Getty Images)

PHNOM PENH, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) — Amid mass protests in Bangkok, the Thai military has canceled bilateral talks with Cambodia over the border dispute near the Preah Vihear temple scheduled for Friday in Siem Reap town, local newspaper reported Thursday, citing Cambodian officials.

Defense Ministry Secretary of State Neang Phat told the Cambodia Daily that he learned Wednesday morning of the last-minute cancellation of the talks.

As Cambodian officials gathered Wednesday in Siem Reap town to prepare for Friday’s talks, Neang Phat said they received an emergency call from the 30-member Thai delegation, which had already arrived in Siem Reap.

The two groups held an immediate meeting at the Century Hotel, and, at the Thai military’s request, agreed to postpone Friday’s meeting because of the protests in Bangkok, Neang Phat said.

Meanwhile, Thai Foreign Ministry press officer Apirat Sugondhabhirom said the military had only informed the Thai government of the canceled negotiations Wednesday, but he downplayed the Bangkok demonstrations as the reason for the delay, the newspaper said.

The Preah Vihear Temple straddles the Cambodian-Thai border atop the Dangrek Mountain and was listed as a World Heritage Site on July 7 by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee.

In 1962, the International Court of Justice decided that the 11-century temple and the land around belong to Cambodia, which rankled the Thais and has led to continuous disputes.

Editor: Du
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