>Army to forward info on border dispute to govt

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Gen. Anupong (R) during border talk with Gen. Tea Banh, Cambodia’s minister of defence, on 21 July, 2008.

Army chief Anupong Paochinda has visited the northeastern province bordering Cambodia to gather information on the simmering border dispute for a revised situation report to pave the way for the new government work to solve the problem.

Gen Anupong went to the Suranaree Task Force headquarters in the northeastern province of Surin to gather information concerning Thailand and Cambodia’s border frictions in order to propose solutions to the new government.

Affirming that confrontation is not good for either country, Gen Anupong urged bilateral cooperation between Thailand and Cambodia as the best option, while arguing that the Thailand’s refusal to redeploy border troops away from the contended zones, attacked in the Cambodian media, was due to Thai law and the government’s orders.

The army chief indicated further the current situation is not worrisome, especially relations between Thai and Cambodian local officials, as both parties are in regular communication.

Thailand and its neighbours must have good relationships with each other, for both must depend on one another in terms of economic or social aspects. The border dispute must be ended peacefully by respecting the rights and laws of both countries.

Concerning the border demarcation, Gen Anupong said he will leave the issue to both countries’ demarcation committees.

Meanwhile, Supreme Commander Boonsang Niempradit stated in an interview before leaving for his retirement farewell at the Armed Academics Preparatory School in Nakhon Nayok that the Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters had already prepared up-to-date map data for tackling Thailand’s border dispute.

Cambodia and Thailand are scheduled to resume talks about their borders next Monday, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York. Bilateral meetings over the issue were postponed in late August amid anti-government street protests in Thailand.

Newly-appointed Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat plans to visit neighbouring Cambodia next month, premier Hun Sen said Friday. The visit was planned for October 13, but Mr. Hun Sen did not say whether he and Mr Somchai would discuss the border issues at several ancient temples along their border that earlier led to a weeks-long military standoff. (TNA)

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