Thai and Cambodian generals have scheduled a meeting Thursday to discuss a dispute about land on the border that cost two Cambodian soldiers their lives Wednesday.
The foreign ministers from the countries were already talking, Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat said. “Cambodia is a good neighbour. We will use peaceful means. If there is violence, we have to negotiate,” he said Wednesday.
As Somchai spoke, Thailand was preparing aircraft to evacuate about 1,500 of its citizens from Cambodia if the situation worsened.
The fight over the disputed land near the 11th-century Preah Vihear Hindu temple appeared to be a short exchange of gunfire that ended in the afternoon.
A Cambodian official said two soldiers were killed and two wounded, while a Thai army spokesman said five Thai soldiers were wounded.
The two countries have disagreed over 4.6 square kilometres of scrub near the temple since 1962, when the International Court of Justice awarded the building to Cambodia.
But ownership of the nearby land along the border was not resolved, and Thailand still resents the 1962 decision.
The recent fighting arose in July after UNESCO approved Cambodia’s request to have the temple declared a world heritage site.
That aroused Thai fears that its claim to the land would be prejudiced, and both sides sent soldiers to the remote area.
The soldiers were pulled back in August, but tension rose recently. A Cambodian soldier and two Thai soldiers were wounded earlier in October.