>Thai, Cambodia military leaders to discuss border dispute


Thai regional army commander Wiboonsak Neeparn (L) greets his Cambodian counterpart, General Chea Morn, Cambodia’s general commander of the 4th military region, upon their arrival at a hotel to attend the 11th meeting of regional border committee between the 4th military region of Cambodia and the 2rd Army area of Thailand, in Siem Reap province, 320 km (199 miles) north of Phnom Penh, October 23, 2008 .

REUTERS /Chor Sokunthea (CAMBODIA)

Field commanders from the Thai and Cambodian border forces are due to meet today to discuss the crisis.

The commander of Cambodia’s Military Region Four, General Chea Morn, is calling for daily talks between the two sides.

He told the Phnom Penh Post that only increased dialogue will prevent a repeat of last week’s deadly violence.

General Chea Morn will lead the Cambodian delegation to the meeting in Siem Reap.

He told the Post the situation on the border has improved significantly, and the soldiers from both sides arer now communicating with each other across the frontlines.

Tourism down

Border tensions are said to be reducing the enthusiasm of Thai gamblers at Cambodia’s casinos.

The chief of the Cambodian tourism office at Poipet border checkpoint where there are several casinos catering to Thais, Bou Vibol, says the deadly border military clashes have seen hundreds of Thai nationals who usually visit the casinos staying home.

He says there is also a drop-off in Thai tourists visiting the Angkor temples in north-western Siem Reap province.

He says the Poipet border crossing has been quiet since the day of fighting erupted.

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