>Thailand, Cambodia resolve to settle border feud

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Thai regional army commander Wiboonsak Neeparn (L) toasts with his Cambodian counterpart, General Chea Morn, Cambodia general commander of the 4th region, after the 11th meeting of regional border committee between the 4th military region of Cambodia and the 2rd Army area of Thailand at a hotel in Siem Reap province, 320 km (199 miles) north of Phnom Penh, October 24, 2008.

REUTERS /Chor Southeast (Reuters)

BEIJING (AP) — The leaders of Thailand and Cambodia resolved Friday to settle their countries’ border dispute peacefully, foreign ministers from the two nations said.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and his Thai counterpart Somchai Wongsawat discussed the issue during bilateral talks early Friday on the sidelines of a 43-nation Asian-European summit in China’s capital, Beijing.

Fighting near the 11th-century Preah Vihear temple last week killed two Cambodians and triggered fears of a broader conflict, and Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong said the leaders were determined to prevent similar conflicts breaking out.

“What happened between us we have to solve peacefully, amicably, for the sake of our neighborliness,” Hor Namhong said.

Thai Foreign Minister Sompong Amornvivat said it was imperative that the sides order their troops not to provoke or engage in fighting.

Sompong said last week’s battle “happened instantly and was uncontrollable at that time,” but he added that that now “the two sides must really advise our troops on each side not to have a confrontation any longer.”

The Beijing meeting came as Thai and Cambodian military officials were holding talks in the Cambodian city of Siem Reap aimed at defusing tensions along the border.

Thai Lt. Gen. Wiboonsak Neeparn said in a statement that both sides plan on exercising restraint to prevent more violence.

Cambodian foreign ministry spokesman Koy Kuong says Cambodia wants both sides to redeploy their troops from the area to reduce tension.

The border talks ended with the two sides reiterating pledges to prevent more violence.

Thailand and Cambodia “are committed to exercising their utmost restraint to avoid confrontation or armed clashes,” Cambodian regional army commander Maj. Gen. Chea Mon said.

Last week’s fighting was the latest flare-up a recently revived dispute over a stretch of jungle near the Preah Vihear temple. The World Court awarded the temple to Cambodia in 1962, but sovereignty over surrounding land has never been clearly resolved.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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